Mixed connective tissue disease associated with von Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis. (41/492)

We report a 42-year-old Japanese woman with Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) who developed mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). Previously experiencing good health without an increase in subcutaneous nodules, she presented with Raynaud's phenomenon, swollen hands and polyarthralgia Clinical examination revealed a high titer of anti-RNP antibody, and she was thus diagnosed as having MCTD. She was treated with oral prednisolone (10 mg/day) and her symptoms improved rapidly. Since the association of MCTD and NF1 has not been reported previously, we concluded that this association is rare. We also discussed the association of NF1 and autoimmune diseases including MCTD.  (+info)

Hereditary vascular retinopathy, cerebroretinal vasculopathy, and hereditary endotheliopathy with retinopathy, nephropathy, and stroke map to a single locus on chromosome 3p21.1-p21.3. (42/492)

We performed a genomewide search for linkage in an extended Dutch family with hereditary vascular retinopathy associated with migraine and Raynaud phenomenon. Patients with vascular retinopathy are characterized by microangiopathy of the retina, accompanied by microaneurysms and telangiectatic capillaries. The genome search, using a high throughput capillary sequencer, revealed significant evidence of linkage to chromosome 3p21.1-p21.3 (maximum pairwise LOD score 5.25, with D3S1578). Testing of two additional families that had a similar phenotype, cerebroretinal vasculopathy, and hereditary endotheliopathy with retinopathy, nephropathy, and stroke, revealed linkage to the same chromosomal region (combined maximum LOD score 6.30, with D3S1588). Haplotype analysis of all three families defined a 3-cM candidate region between D3S1578 and D3S3564. Our study shows that three autosomal dominant vasculopathy syndromes with prominent cerebroretinal manifestations map to the same 3-cM interval on 3p21, suggesting a common locus.  (+info)

Seasonal differences in finger skin temperature and microvascular blood flow in healthy men and women are exaggerated in women with primary Raynaud's phenomenon. (43/492)

AIMS: Patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon (PRP) have more severe symptoms in the winter. The aetiology of this is more complex than simply increased vasoconstriction in response to the immediate ambient temperature. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in skin temperature (Tsk), microvascular blood flow and responses to endothelium-dependent and independent vasodilators in healthy controls, and women with PRP under identical environmental temperatures but in different seasons. METHODS: Ten women with PRP were compared with age matched women (10) and men (10). Finger skin responses were recorded immediately on arrival, after stabilizing in a temperature regulated laboratory at 22-24 degrees C, and at matched warm (35 degrees C) and cold (15 degrees C) Tsk in the winter and summer. Baseline red blood cell flux (r.b.c. flux), and the change in flux in response to iontophoresis of acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were recorded by laser Doppler fluxmetry at the warm and cold Tsk. RESULTS: Arrival Tsk were significantly cooler for all subjects during the winter (mean seasonal difference -2.6 degrees C, P < 0.0001), and markedly colder in subjects with PRP (mean seasonal difference -3.5 degrees C, P < 0.0005). Statistically significant seasonal differences persisted in all subjects at stable Tsk despite an identical laboratory temperature (mean difference 1.3 degrees C, P < 0.0001). To achieve comparable controlled finger Tsk a significantly colder local environment was required for male controls (mean of -2.1 degrees C, P < 0.0001), and a significantly warmer environment for subjects with PRP (mean of + 2.4 degrees C, P < 0.0001) compared with female controls. This needed to be warmer in the winter, by a mean of 2.4 degrees C, than the summer for all subjects. Vasodilatation in response to ACh, but not SNP, was significantly smaller (P < 0.0001) in the PRP group compared with the female controls for all visits, with most of this difference arising in the winter visits (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: There is a seasonal and persistent influence on finger Tsk, and microvascular blood flow in healthy men and women, which modifies the observed responses to immediate changes in finger Tsk. The seasonal differences are greater in women than men, and are further exaggerated in women with PRP, in whom this is associated with reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilatation.  (+info)

Digital plethysmographic responses to auditory stimuli in patients with vibration disease. (44/492)

Digital plethysmographic responses to auditory stimuli in 15 healthy men and 82 patients with vibration disease were analyzed in order to clarify the functional conditions of autonomic nervous system in this disease. The auditory stimuli given to healthy men caused a rapid decrease in the amplitude of the plethysmograms. After cessation of the auditory stimuli the decreased amplitude recovered to the control value within 30 sec. In the patients with vibration disease, however, the recovery of the decreased amplitude was delayed. The plethysmographic changes in the patients with vibration disease were divided into 4 types: normal (N), intermediate (I), delayed (D) and poor response (P) types. Each type of I, D and P was altered to type N by treatments consisting of therapeutic exercises, hot spring cures and so on. All healthy men showed type N. There were no significant differences between the time courses of the recovery of the plethysmographic changes and the amplitudes of the plethysmograms before the auditory stimuli. The results obtained seem to indicate that the autonomic nervous system in the patient with vibration disease is in disorder, and that the digital plethysmography with auditory stimuli is instrumental to detect the functional changes in the autonomic nervous system.  (+info)

Serum TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and MMP-1 in patients with systemic sclerosis, primary Raynaud's phenomenon, and in normal controls. (45/492)

BACKGROUND: Excess tissue matrix accumulates in systemic sclerosis (SSc), accounting for both visceral and dermal fibrosis. It is suggested that decreased serum levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) or increased levels of tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) may account for this matrix accumulation. OBJECTIVE: To measure serum levels of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases, TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and collagenase-1 (MMP-1), in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc), limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (lcSSc), primary Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), and in normal controls. METHODS: Serum samples from patients with dcSSc (n=83), lcSSc (n=87), RP (n=80), and normal controls (n=98) were analysed using enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for total TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and MMP-1. Results from each assay were analysed by the Kruskal-Wallis test. Dunn's multiple comparison post-test was then applied between groups. RESULTS: TIMP-1 levels were significantly raised in dcSSc and lcSSc groups compared with the RP group and normal controls (p<0.01 to p<0.001). In the dcSSc group, TIMP-1 levels were significantly higher in early disease (<2 years) than in late stage disease (>4 years) (p<0.05). This was not found for the lcSSc group. Serum TIMP-2 and MMP-1 levels in dcSSc and lcSSc did not differ significantly from those in normal controls. Increased levels of TIMPs were not convincingly associated with organ disease. No assay result correlated with autoantibody status (anti-topoisomerase 1 (anti-Scl-70), anticentromere antibody, or anti-RNA polymerase). No significant differences in serum TIMP-1, TIMP-2, or MMP-1 levels were shown in the RP group compared with normal controls. CONCLUSIONS: Raised TIMP-1 levels in the SSc groups support the hypothesis that matrix accumulation occurs in SSc at least in part owing to decreased degradation. Moreover, the variation in TIMP-1 levels between the early and late disease stages of dcSSc seems to reflect the early progressive course of dermal fibrosis seen clinically. The expected reduction in serum MMP-1 levels in the SSc groups was not found. This suggests that tissue matrix accumulation is due to increased inhibitors rather than to decreased MMPs.  (+info)

Calcium-channel blockers for Raynaud's phenomenon in systemic sclerosis. (46/492)

OBJECTIVE: Most patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) have Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), which is often more severe than idiopathic RP. This study was a meta-analysis to determine the efficacy of calcium-channel blockers for the treatment of RP in SSc. The primary outcome measures were frequency and severity of ischemic attacks, digital skin temperature, patient and physician global assessments, and digital ulcers. METHODS: The Cochrane search strategy was used to ascertain all trials in all languages. Primary data sources included Medline, Current Contents, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register. Studies that met the inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials of >2 days' duration with a dropout rate of <35%. Twenty-nine studies were found, of which 8 randomized controlled trials were eligible for inclusion. The total number of patients included was small (n = 109). Most trials included primary and secondary RP, and the main reasons for trial exclusion were inability to extract subset data on SSc patients (18 trials), data published previously (2 trials), and lack of a control group (1 trial). Data were abstracted independently by 2 reviewers, and either a weighted mean difference (WMD) or a standardized mean difference (SMD) was calculated for all continuous outcomes; however, information was not available for all outcomes within trials. RESULTS: The WMD of all calcium-channel blockers versus placebo (6 trials) and of nifedipine alone versus placebo (5 trials) for the reduction in the frequency of ischemic attacks over a 2-week period was -8.31 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] -15.71, -0.91) and -10.21 (95% CI -20.09, -0.34), respectively. The SMD of all calcium-channel blockers versus placebo (3 trials) and of nifedipine alone versus placebo (2 trials) for the reduction in the severity of ischemic attacks was -0.69 (95% CI -1.21, -0.17) and -0.99 (95% CI -1.74, -0.24), respectively. CONCLUSION: Calcium-channel blockers for RP in SSc have been tested in several small clinical trials and appear to lead to significant clinical improvement in both the frequency and the severity of ischemic attacks. Most trials were crossover trials in which order effect was not studied. This could have introduced bias. The results of this study suggest that the efficacy of calcium-channel blockers in reducing the severity and frequency of ischemic attacks in RP secondary to SSc is moderate at best (mean reduction of 8.3 attacks in 2 weeks and 35% less severity), and a further large, randomized controlled trial needs to be conducted.  (+info)

Treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine. (47/492)

OBJECTIVE: To compare fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, with nifedipine as treatment for primary or secondary Raynaud's phenomenon. METHODS: Twenty-six patients with primary and 27 patients with secondary Raynaud's phenomenon were assigned randomly to receive 6 weeks of treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg daily) or nifedipine (40 mg daily). Following a 2-week washout period, each group was crossed over to the other treatment arm. The primary outcome variable was the frequency of attacks of Raynaud's phenomenon. Self-reported attack severity, thermographic recovery from cold challenge and plasma levels of von Willebrand factor and soluble P-selectin were also measured. RESULTS: There was a reduction in attack frequency and severity of Raynaud's phenomenon in patients treated with either fluoxetine or nifedipine, but the effect was statistically significant only in the fluoxetine-treated group (P=0.0002 for attack severity and P=0.003 for attack frequency). Subgroup analysis showed that the greatest response was seen in females and in patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon. A significant improvement in the thermographic response to cold challenge was also seen in female patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon treated with fluoxetine but not in those treated with nifedipine. There was no significant treatment effect on von Willebrand factor or soluble P-selectin. No significant adverse effects occurred in the fluoxetine-treated group. CONCLUSION: This pilot study confirms the tolerability of fluoxetine and suggests that it would be effective as a novel treatment for Raynaud's phenomenon. Larger and placebo-controlled trials are warranted to assess fluoxetine's therapeutic potential further in this vasospastic condition.  (+info)

Primary pulmonary hypertension with severe systemic hypertension, Raynaud's phenomenon and relative polycythemia. (48/492)

A 32-year-old Japanese man was hospitalized for evaluation of unconsciousness. He was diagnosed as having primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) with severe systemic hypertension, Raynaud's phenomenon and relative polycythemia. Hemostatic studies revealed increased coagulation and decreased fibrinolysis, similar to findings of chronic disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Although activation of coagulation and systemic hypertension were improved after treatment with phlebotomy and administration of nifedipine, enerapril and warfarin, pulmonary hypertension was unchanged, suggesting that irreversible change had already occurred in the pulmonary arteries. Those complications could modify the process of pulmonary hypertension by inducing a hyperviscosity state.  (+info)