The Handoff: Your Week in Rheumatology News – 4/14/17

  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons released a new clinical practice guideline on treating osteoarthritis of the hip. The new guideline recommends pre-surgical treatments, including corticosteroid injections and physical therapy, while strongly recommending against the use of hyaluronic acid or glucosamine sulfate to minimize osteoarthritis.
  • Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced plans for a Phase III trial for the development of investigational drug voclosporin for the treatment of active lupus nephritis. Phase III of the AURORA trial is expected to be a global 52-week double blind, placebo controlled study of 320 patients.
  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Health System found that obese women may normally have higher levels of C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. This high rate may lead to a misdiagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis or require adjustments to treatment strategies.
  • Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody approved to treat bone loss in multiple myeloma, was found safe to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. In a 3-year clinical trial, the drug significantly reduced new vertebral fractures by 68%, hip fractures by 40%, and nonvertebral fractures by 20%.
  • The Lupus Low Disease Activity State was found to predict the risk of future lupus flare-ups but there is no evidence as of yet that it is associated with less lupus-related damage or lower mortality rates. In their study, researchers stated that LLDAS was achieved by 92.6% of patients.
  • A study published in Arthritis Care & Research states that women who drank a moderate amount of alcohol daily had a reduced risk of developing systemic lupus erythmatosus.
  • Research presented at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting states that prolonged insomnia may lead to lower bone formation, causing osteoporosis and bone fractures. Researchers found that the healthy participants had reduced levels of a marker of bone formation in their blood after 3 weeks of sleep restriction and circadian disruption.
  • The effects of osteoporosis medications on bone mineral density, fracture risk, and safety for patients with chronic kidney disease are not clearly established according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Bisphosphonates slowed bone mineral density in patients who underwent a kidney transplant, but its effect on fractures was unclear. 
  • Watch below as Faisal Mirza, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, California, discusses the different causes of osteoporosis in men, a shift in testosterone balance and aging, and in women, related to the estrogen change after menopause.


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