Background Treatment (background + treatment)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Treatment of Melasma Using Variable Square Pulse Er: YAG Laser Resurfacing

BACKGROUND Treatment of melasma remains a challenge. Laser treatments show limited efficacy, with a high rate of recurrence and side effects. Recently, variable-pulsed erbium:yttrium aluminum garnet (Er:YAG) lasers have shown favorable results in skin resurfacing, with minimal downtime and adverse effects. OBJECTIVE To determine the efficacy and side effects of variable square pulsed (VSP) Er:YAG laser resurfacing for treatment of epidermal type melasma. METHODS Twenty Thai women with epidermal-type melasma were treated with two passes of VSP Er:YAG laser resurfacing using a 7-mm spot size, pulse duration of 300 ,s, and a fluence of 0.4 J/cm2. Two treatments were given 1 month apart. Visual analog scale (VAS), Melasma Area and Severity Index (MASI) score and melanin index (MI) were measured at baseline and 1, 2, and 4 months after treatment. RESULTS There was a significant improvement in VAS from baseline at 1-, 2-, and 4-month follow-up visits (p<.001). Significant improvement in MASI score at the 2-month visit from baseline (p=.004) was also observed. The average MI measured using melanin reflectance spectrometry measurements corresponded to MASI score rating. CONCLUSIONS VSP Er:YAG laser resurfacing effectively but temporarily improved epidermal-type melasma. Recurrence was observed after the treatment was discontinued. [source]

Early changes in rectal nitric oxide and mucosal inflammatory mediators in Crohn's colitis in response to infliximab treatment

SUMMARY Background Treatment with tumor necrosis factor-, monoclonal antibody (infliximab) reduces clinical activity and intestinal inflammation in Crohn's disease. Aim To study the time-course of the effects of infliximab with reference to mucosal cytokine and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. Methods Thirty-two patients with Crohn's disease were treated with single dose infliximab (5 mg/kg). Disease activity was assessed days 1, 3, 7 and 28 using Harvey,Bradshaw index. Rectal nitric oxide levels were determined and rectal biopsies collected before treatment, 1 h after infusion and on days 3, 7 and 28. Immunohistochemical staining against inducible nitric oxide synthase, tumor necrosis factor-,, interleukin-1, and interferon-, were performed. Results Clinical response was seen in 14 patients with down-regulation of global immunohistochemistry expression, reaching nadir day 3. Rectal nitric oxide was increased at baseline (3578 1199 parts per billion, ppb) compared with controls (89 13 ppb) (P < 0.001). In patients with clinical response, rectal nitric oxide decreased from 3926 1687 ppb to 1050 428 ppb day 28 (P < 0.05). Conclusions Down-regulation of mucosal inflammatory mediators occurs after infliximab. Rectal nitric oxide levels parallel down-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase, tumor necrosis factor-,, interleukin-1, and interferon-, and may serve as a quantitative biomarker of intestinal inflammation. [source]

The selective estrogen receptor , agonist Org 37663 induces estrogenic effects but lacks antirheumatic activity: A phase IIa trial investigating efficacy and safety of Org 37663 in postmenopausal female rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving stable background methotrexate or sulfasalazine

Ronald F. van Vollenhoven
Objective Multiple lines of evidence suggest that sex hormones may play a role in the pathogenesis or clinical expression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Studies on the effects of exogenous estrogens in RA patients have yielded contradictory results. We undertook this study to determine the effects of the selective estrogen receptor , (ER,) agonist Org 37663 in patients with RA, in terms of both its estrogenic effects and its ability to ameliorate disease activity. Methods A 10-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, dose-finding, proof-of-concept trial was initiated to obtain data on the efficacy and safety of Org 37663 in postmenopausal female patients with RA who were receiving background treatment with either methotrexate or sulfasalazine. Patients were randomized to receive placebo or Org 37663 at doses of 4 mg/day, 15 mg/day, or 50 mg/week. The primary efficacy variable was the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28). Results Org 37663 induced a clear biologic, estrogenic response in several organ systems, including a dose-related increase in levels of sex hormone binding globulin. However, the DAS28 decreased similarly for all treatment groups including placebo, indicating lack of clinical efficacy of Org 37663 in this trial. Conclusion The observed lack of clinical benefit in RA patients treated with an ER, agonist, in association with a clear biologic response to the study drug, provides evidence that a biologically relevant ER,-mediated estrogenic effect is not associated with a clinically relevant effect on RA symptoms and signs. [source]

Efficacy and safety of rituximab in moderately-to-severely active systemic lupus erythematosus: The randomized, double-blind, phase ii/iii systemic lupus erythematosus evaluation of rituximab trial,

Joan T. Merrill
Objective B cells are likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and rituximab induces depletion of B cells. The Exploratory Phase II/III SLE Evaluation of Rituximab (EXPLORER) trial tested the efficacy and safety of rituximab versus placebo in patients with moderately-to-severely active extrarenal SLE. Methods Patients entered with ,1 British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) A score or ,2 BILAG B scores despite background immunosuppressant therapy, which was continued during the trial. Prednisone was added and subsequently tapered. Patients were randomized at a ratio of 2:1 to receive rituximab (1,000 mg) or placebo on days 1, 15, 168, and 182. Results In the intent-to-treat analysis of 257 patients, background treatment was evenly distributed among azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and methotrexate. Fifty-three percent of the patients had ,1 BILAG A score at entry, and 57% of the patients were categorized as being steroid dependent. No differences were observed between placebo and rituximab in the primary and secondary efficacy end points, including the BILAG-defined response, in terms of both area under the curve and landmark analyses. A beneficial effect of rituximab on the primary end point was observed in the African American and Hispanic subgroups. Safety and tolerability were similar in patients receiving placebo and those receiving rituximab. Conclusion The EXPLORER trial enrolled patients with moderately-to-severely active SLE and used aggressive background treatment and sensitive cutoffs for nonresponse. No differences were noted between placebo and rituximab in the primary and secondary end points. Further evaluation of patient subsets, biomarkers, and exploratory outcome models may improve the design of future SLE clinical trials. [source]

Diuretics: A modern day treatment option? (Review Article)

NEPHROLOGY, Issue 5 2006
SUMMARY: The choice of drugs to initiate therapy for the management of hypertension remains contentious and diuretics are central to this controversy. Because most of the major trials involve complex treatment algorithms and allow diverse background treatments, one of the greatest challenges lies in separating out true class-specific effects , for example, separating true class-specific effects of diuretics from those of beta blockers. Despite these difficulties, the evidence confirms that diuretics are at least as effective as the newer first line groups in preventing cardiovascular events. The main area of doubt lies in relation to the risk of renal outcomes and of metabolic outcomes, such as new onset diabetes , where the evidence suggests that drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system may be more protective than all other drug classes. These issues are reflected in the most recent international guidelines, all of which include diuretics among the first-line drugs for the treatment of hypertension, although they do differ on the role of diuretics in the initiation of therapy. Diuretics remain important for treating hypertension, especially in combination with other drug classes. The particular place of diuretics in the rank order of drugs must be tailored to suit the clinical situation in the individual patient. This will vary from a preferred option, as in black patients or elderly patients with systolic hypertension, to a second-line option in patients at high risk of developing new onset diabetes. [source]

The safety of infliximab, combined with background treatments, among patients with rheumatoid arthritis and various comorbidities: A large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Rene Westhovens
Objective To assess the risk of serious infections following 22 weeks of infliximab therapy, and to further characterize the safety profile of infliximab in combination with background treatments during 1 year in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with various comorbidities. Methods Patients with active RA despite receiving methotrexate (MTX) were randomly assigned to receive infusions of placebo (group 1, n = 363), 3 mg/kg infliximab (group 2, n = 360), or 10 mg/kg infliximab (group 3, n = 361) at weeks 0, 2, 6, and 14. At week 22, patients in placebo group 1 began receiving 3 mg/kg infliximab, and patients in group 3 continued to receive an infliximab dose of 10 mg/kg. Patients in group 2 who failed to meet predefined response criteria received increasing doses of infliximab in increments of 1.5 mg/kg. Results At week 22, the relative risk of developing serious infections in groups 2 and 3, compared with group 1, was 1.0 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.3,3.1, P = 0.995) and 3.1 (95% CI 1.2,7.9, P = 0.013), respectively. The incidence of serious adverse events was 7.8% in groups 2 and 3 compared with 7.5% in group 1. From week 22 to week 54, 11.8%, 9.9%, and 10.3% of patients in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, reported occurrences of serious adverse events. Through week 54, 1 patient in group 1, 2 patients in group 2, and 4 patients in group 3 developed active tuberculosis. Conclusion The risk of serious infections in patients receiving the approved infliximab dose of 3 mg/kg plus MTX was similar to that in patients receiving MTX alone. Patients receiving the unapproved induction regimen of 10 mg/kg infliximab plus MTX followed by a 10 mg/kg maintenance regimen had an increased risk of serious infections through week 22. [source]