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INTRODUCTION Evidence from a number of open-label, uncontrolled studies has suggested that rituximab may benefit patients with autoimmune diseases who are refractory to standard-of-care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes of rituximab in several standard-of-care-refractory autoimmune diseases (within rheumatology,(More)
CNS involvement is one of the hallmarks underlying poor prognosis in SLE and for therapeutic strategies it is difficult to assess which patients are at risk. As detectability of cerebral microembolic signals (MES) using long-term transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD) proved to be predictive of past and future thromboembolic events in patients with(More)
During the past 20 years, outcome studies in the rheumatic diseases have, on the one hand, given increasing evidence of the unfavourable long-term prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and on the other hand determined continuous improvement of prognosis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of the study was to investigate how this translates into(More)
OBJECTIVE Exploring patients' Internet use, their online needs and requirements, expectations and attitudes towards the Internet is mandatory to effectively provide interactive online applications and information. METHODS Within a prospective study, 153 consecutive outpatients with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus or spondyloarthritis(More)
OBJECTIVE We evaluated the feasibility of electronic data capture of self-administered patient questionnaires using a Tablet PC for integration in routine patient management; we also compared these data with results received from corresponding paper-pencil versions. METHODS Standardised patient questionnaires (FFbH/HAQ, BASDAI, SF-36) were implemented in(More)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can be a severe and potentially life-threatening disease that often represents a therapeutic challenge because of its heterogeneous organ manifestations. Only glucocorticoids, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide and very recently belimumab have been approved for SLE therapy in Germany,(More)
OBJECTIVE To assess cartilage glycosaminoglycan content and cartilage thickness in the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and healthy volunteers. METHODS After review board approval and informed consent were obtained, 22 subjects were prospectively enrolled (9 patients with early RA [7 women and 2 men with a(More)
Patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are prone to thromboembolism. So far, the only predictive parameters for further complications are their number in patient's history and perhaps the titre of aPL. Derived from clinical investigation of stroke and obvious analogies between cerebrovascular ischemia (CVI) in patients with carotid artery disease(More)
OBJECTIVES We investigated whether the detectability of microembolic Doppler signals (MES) in the intracranial circulation may help to define the individual cerebrovascular risk in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). MATERIAL AND METHODS Retrospective cross-sectional study of 70 patients with SLE with or without APS,(More)
OBJECTIVE Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a rare coagulation disorder associated with recurrent arterial and venous thrombotic events. We analysed our experience with five APS patients who underwent cardiac surgery. In three of them the diagnosis of APS had been established before surgery, two patients were diagnosed after surgery. METHODS From March(More)