Christof Specker

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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)
INTRODUCTION There is growing evidence that interleukin 17 (IL-17) producing T cells are involved in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Previous studies showed that increased percentages of T-cell subsets expressing the costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD134 are associated with disease activity and renal involvement in SLE. The aim of(More)
BACKGROUND An increased CD4(+) CD25(+) T-cell population is observed in Wegener's granulomatosis (WG). This T-cell population is not well characterized yet and their contribution to the disease pathogenesis remains obscure. METHODS Thirty patients with WG and 18 healthy controls (HC) were included in this study. The disease activity and extension were(More)
OBJECTIVE MMF is teratogenic and needs to be replaced before pregnancy. This change may lead to flares. Our aim was to determine the risk of renal flares in women with LN who switched treatment from MMF to AZA before conception and to evaluate the outcome of their pregnancies. METHODS Medical records of women with LN counselled for pregnancy wish were(More)
BACKGROUND The pathogenesis of Sneddon's syndrome is unclear. This study addresses the question whether cerebral thromboembolism may be involved in the pathogenesis of the neurologic complications of the disorder. The study consisted of 13 patients with Sneddon's syndrome defined by both generalized livedo reticularis and a history of one or more(More)
OBJECTIVE A 68k autoantigen has been identified by specific antibodies from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study considered whether or not this antigen is a target for T cells and thus may play a part in T cell mediated immunopathology of active RA. METHODS The 68k antigen was isolated and used in a nitrocellulose bound form to stimulate T(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)
Anti Jo-1 antibodies are the main markers of the antisynthetase syndrome (ASSD), an autoimmune disease clinically characterized by the occurrence of arthritis, myositis, and interstitial lung disease (ILD). These manifestations usually co-occur (for practical purpose complete forms) in the same patient, but cases with only 1 or 2 of these findings (for(More)
Identification of several autoantibodies in serum samples from patients with ankylosing spondylitis or suspected ankylosing spondylitis is reported. Five antibodies associated with ankylosing spondylitis were identified by applying cytoimmunofluorescence and immunoblotting techniques to antigen pools from insect tissue. At least one of these antibodies was(More)
BACKGROUND Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD), a rare autoinflammatory disorder, resembles systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA). The superimposable systemic clinical features of AOSD and SJIA suggest both clinical phenotypes represent the same disease continuum with different ages of onset. To further characterize the similarity between AOSD and(More)