(1/85) Joint symmetry in early and late rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis: comparison with a mathematical model.

OBJECTIVE: To establish a mathematical model to predict the probability of symmetry of joint involvement as a function of the number of joints involved and to compare expected with actual probabilities in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and in early and late disease. METHODS: Random involvement of joints was assumed, and the binomial theorem was used to give the frequency distribution of involved joints as a function of each joint count. Ten joint pairs were included: shoulder, elbow, wrist, metacarpophalangeal joints, proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints of the hands, hip, knee, ankle, metatarsophalangeal joints, and PIP joints of the feet. Observed probabilities were obtained from subjects with early (duration < or =12 months) and late PsA and RA. RESULTS: The number of subjects in each of the disease subgroups was as follows: early PsA n = 33, late PsA n = 77, early RA n = 61, late RA n = 93. Observed probabilities of symmetry exceeded predicted probabilities for all disease subgroups. The median number of involved joints in each group was as follows: early PsA 4, late PsA 8, early RA 8, late RA 15 (chi2 = 95.3, 3 degrees of freedom, P = 0.0001, by Kruskal-Wallis test). After correcting for the discrepancy in the number of involved joints, no difference in joint symmetry was found between the groups (chi2 = 1.77, P = 0.62 by Friedman two-way analysis of variance). Similar results were obtained when individual hand and foot joints were analyzed separately. CONCLUSION: The pattern of joint involvement is often used to distinguish between rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. This study confirms that symmetry is largely a function of the total number of joints involved and that, in terms of joint pattern, differences between these disorders are more quantitative than qualitative. Both disorders have high absolute values of symmetry, particularly in the joints of the wrist and hand.  (+info)

(2/85) Preliminary investigation of debridement of plantar callosities in rheumatoid arthritis.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of expert debridement of foot callosities on forefoot pain and plantar pressure distribution in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Plantar callosities on 14 feet of eight RA patients were debrided by a single podiatrist. Measurements of subjective pain severity in the forefoot and global arthritis pain were undertaken using a visual analogue scale, repeated at 7-day intervals to the next treatment (28 days). Plantar pressures were recorded at the lesion sites using an in-shoe flexible transducer insole before and after lesion debridement. RESULTS: Following debridement, all patients reported symptomatic relief with an average change in pain score of 48% (P = 0.01) but the treatment effect was lost by 7 days. Immediately following scalpel debridement, peak pressures were elevated in 10 of 14 feet, whilst contact time was reduced and peak force increased. None, however, reached statistical significance. CONCLUSION: Scalpel debridement of forefoot plantar callosities reduces forefoot pain for about 7 days, but pressure distribution is not significantly altered.  (+info)

(3/85) Lymph draining from foot joints in rheumatoid arthritis provides insight into local cytokine and chemokine production and transport to lymph nodes.

OBJECTIVE: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by inflammatory reactions in joints and adjacent tissues unaccompanied by clinically evident changes in lymphatics and lymph nodes draining the inflamed areas. The explanation for this phenomenon, which contrasts with infectious processes in joints and soft tissues that evoke major changes in the lymphatic system, is unclear. To determine which inflammatory factors produced in the joints of RA patients are transported in lymph to lymph nodes, we measured levels of immunoglobulins, cytokines, and chemokines in prenodal lymph from the foot joints of RA patients and quantified their rate of transport to regional lymph nodes. METHODS: Lymph was collected from the cannulated lymphatics draining the foot joints, tendons, fascia, and skin of 20 RA patients. Lymph flow rate and concentrations of proteins and immunoglobulins were measured. Cytokine and chemokine levels were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Results were compared with those obtained in 20 control subjects. RESULTS: In the cannulated vessel, the mean +/- SEM lymph flow rate in RA patients was almost 2-fold that in control subjects (22.6 +/- 3.2 ml/24 hours versus 13.2 +/- 1.1 ml/24 hours; P < 0.01). Lymph concentrations of total protein, IgG, and IgM were 1.80 +/- 0.14 gm/dl, 384 +/- 45 mg/dl, and 32.0 +/- 1.5 mg/dl, respectively, in RA patients and 1.66 +/- 0.14 gm/dl, 238 +/- 32 mg/dl, and 15.0 +/- 1.3 mg/dl, respectively, in control subjects. The corresponding lymph:serum (L:S) ratios were 0.21 +/- 0.02, 0.22 +/- 0.02, and 0.15 +/- 0.02, respectively, in RA patients and 0.22 +/- 0.02, 0.19 +/- 0.02, and 0.11 +/- 0.02, respectively, in control subjects. The L:S ratios of <1 and the absence of significant differences between groups suggested a lack of local production of immunoglobulins. In RA patients, lymph concentrations (in pg/ml) were as follows: interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) 14.8 +/- 3.9, IL-6 511 +/- 143, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) 9.9 +/- 1.1, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) 4,274 +/- 737, IL-10 13.3 +/- 4.4, IL-8 846 +/- 174, IL-15 6.2 +/- 0.9, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) 2.30 +/- 0.15, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) 80.4 +/- 8.6, and macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha (MIP-1alpha) 171 +/- 34. In control subjects, these values were as follows: IL-1beta 1.50 +/- 0.25, IL-6 79.0 +/- 14.6, TNFalpha 4.4 +/- 1.1, IL-1Ra 208 +/- 52, IL-10 0.0, IL-8 216 +/- 83, IL-15 5.00 +/- 0.45, GM-CSF 0.40 +/- 0.05, VEGF 42.0 +/- 2.4, and MIP-1alpha 3.4 +/- 1.7 (P < 0.05 versus RA patients for all except IL-15). The L:S ratio was >1 in all RA patient samples for IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-1Ra, IL-8, GM-CSF, IL-10, IL-15, TNFalpha, and MIP-1alpha, indicating local production of cytokines. Great variability in lymph cytokine concentrations, presumably reflecting differences in the intensity of local inflammation, was not reflected in serum cytokine concentrations. Intravenously infused methylprednisolone decreased lymph cytokine levels to normal within 12 hours. In contrast, their concentrations in serum showed little or no change. CONCLUSION: High lymph concentrations of cyto kines and chemokines, exceeding those in serum, were found in RA patients. The L:S concentration ratios of > 1 indicate the local production of these cytokines and chemokines in the inflamed tissues. High flow rates of lymph containing high cytokine concentrations through the regional lymph nodes are likely to affect node lymphocytes and dendritic cells. Analysis of cytokines in lymph should provide insight into events in inflamed tissues in RA and in regional lymph nodes.  (+info)

(4/85) Mycobacterium kansasii arthritis of the foot in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Mycobacterium kansasii, an atypical Mycobacterium, may cause serious illness in humans. We describe a M. kansasii infection of the foot joint, which was diagnosed in a 46-year-old woman with systemic lupus erythematosus. The diagnosis was based on a positive culture from degenerative tissue and histological diagnosis of a synovium. We reviewed the literature regarding M. kansasii infection of the joint, bone, and periarticular structures focusing on the complication of rheumatic diseases.  (+info)

(5/85) The foot in chronic rheumatoid arthritis.

The feet of 200 consecutive admissions with classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis were studied. 104 were found to have pain or deformity. Clinical involvement of the joints was seen more often than radiological joint damage in the ankle, but the reverse was the case in the midtarsal joints. The metatarsophalangeal joints were involved most frequently both clinically and radiologically. Sixty per cent of the patients required modified shoes but only a third of these had received them. The need for more shoes is clear, and although this is a highly selected group of patients they were all under specialist care. The increased expenditure on special footwear would benefit the patient, firstly by improving ambulation, and secondly perhaps by reducing the number of operations necessary. Hallux valgus was very common and occurred with similar frequency to disease in the other metatarsophalangeal joints. Although not exclusive to rheumatoid arthritis, hallux valgus must have been caused for the most part by the rheumatoid arthritis and if so, then it is suggested that the provision of suitable shoes for patients may be less costly than subsequent surgical treatment.  (+info)

(6/85) Increased arthritis severity in mice coinfected with Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti.

Increased severity of disease and persistence of symptoms have been recently reported in some patients with simultaneous infection of Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti in the northeastern and northern midwest United States. This study used a murine model to examine whether defined disease conditions such as arthritis and carditis differed in severity in mice infected solely with B. burgdorferi and in mice coinfected with B. microti and B. burgdorferi. C3H.HeJ and BALB/c mice cohorts were coinfected or singly infected and then monitored experimentally for 15 and 30 days after inoculation. Carditis and arthritis was determined by blinded histopathologic evaluation of myocardium and tibiotarsal joints. Cytokine measurements were made on lymph node and spleen supernatants for interferon-gamma, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-10, and IL-13. No differences were observed for C3H.HeJ mice cohorts; however, coinfected BALB/c mice had a significant increase in arthritis severity at day 30. This clinical observation was correlated with a significant reduction in expression of the cytokines IL-10 and IL-13.  (+info)

(7/85) Jumping and kicking in bush crickets.

Bush crickets have long, thin hind legs but jump and kick rapidly. The mechanisms underlying these fast movements were analysed by correlating the activity of femoral muscles in a hind leg with the movements of the legs and body captured in high-speed images. A female Pholidoptera griseoaptera weighing 600 mg can jump a horizontal distance of 300 mm from a takeoff angle of 34 degrees and at a velocity of 2.1 m s(-1), gaining 1350 microJ of kinetic energy. The body is accelerated at up to 114 m s(-2), and the tibiae of the hind legs extend fully within 30 ms at maximal rotational velocities of 13500 deg. s(-1). Such performance requires a minimal power output of 40 mW. Ruddering movements of the hind legs may contribute to the stability of the body once the insect is airborne. During kicking, a hind tibia is extended completely within 10 ms with rotational velocities three times higher at 41800 deg. s(-1). Before a kick, high-speed images show no distortions of the hind femoro-tibial joints or of the small semi-lunar groove in the distal femur. Both kicks and jumps can be generated without full flexion of the hind tibiae. Some kicks involve a brief, 40-90 ms, period of co-contraction between the extensor and flexor tibiae muscles, but others can be generated by contraction of the extensor without a preceding co-contraction with the flexor. In the latter kicks, the initial flexion of the tibia is generated by a burst of flexor spikes, which then stop before spikes occur in the fast extensor tibiae (FETi) motor neuron. The rapid extension of the tibia can follow directly upon these spikes or can be delayed by as long as 40 ms. The velocity of tibial movement is positively correlated with the number of FETi spikes. The hind legs are 1.5 times longer than the body and more than four times longer than the front legs. The mechanical advantage of the hind leg flexor muscle over the extensor is greater at flexed joint angles and is enhanced by a pad of tissue on its tendon that slides over a protuberance in the ventral wall of the distal femur. The balance of forces in the extensor and flexor muscles, coupled with their changing lever ratio at different joint positions, appears to determine the point of tibial release and to enable rapid movements without an obligatory co-contraction of the two muscles.  (+info)

(8/85) Fracture dislocations of Lisfranc's joint treated with closed reduction and percutaneous fixation.

We reviewed 42 patients (mean age 37.7+/-14.2 years) with closed fracture dislocations of Lisfranc's joint treated with percutaneous screw fixation. Mean follow-up was 58.4+/-17.3 months. The aim was to compare dislocations in which a perfect anatomical reduction had been reached with dislocations in which reduction was only near anatomical. The mean American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score for all patients was 81.0+/-13.5. There were no significant differences in outcome scores between patients with perfect anatomical reduction and patients with near anatomical reduction. However, patients with combined fracture dislocations obtained statistically better scores than patients with pure dislocations.  (+info)