Dec. 2005 Briefing - Rheumatology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for December 2005. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Study Sheds Light on Gene Variations in Crohn's Disease

FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Two gene polymorphisms in a region of chromosome 5 previously linked to inflammatory bowel disease may be important for Crohn's disease susceptibility, according to a report in the December issue of Gastroenterology. The genetic variations are not independently linked to the disease, however, suggesting other mutations are lurking in this region of the genome.

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Coma Outcomes on Soap Operas Too Good to Be True

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Coma patients in soap operas experience significantly rosier outcomes than their real-life counterparts, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Sorry, Celebrants: Hangover Cures Don't Work

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that there is no conventional or complementary intervention that will prevent or treat a hangover, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Short Drinks May Have More Kick Than Tall Ones

MONDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because of human perceptual bias, alcoholic beverages mixed in short, wide tumblers may be more potent than those mixed in taller and more slender highball glasses, according to a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Capsule Endoscopy Helps in Crohn's Disease Diagnosis

FRIDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Capsule endoscopy and magnetic resonance imaging are complementary ways of diagnosing small bowel Crohn's disease, according to a study in the December issue of Gut.

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NSAIDs Can Result in Small Bowel Disease, Resection

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Small-bowel diaphragm disease caused by the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be more common than thought, and can lead to difficult-to-diagnose gastrointestinal tract bleeding and obstruction, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery. In some cases, the condition may require laparotomy and small-bowel resection, the authors say.

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Long-Term Storage of Plasma Causes DNA Degradation

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- DNA levels in whole plasma and purified plasma drop substantially in frozen storage, up to 30% annually, Italian scientists report in the Dec. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The finding could have an impact on clinical trials that assess levels of plasma DNA, they say.

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Hospital 'Handoffs' Common Source of Medical Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Poor communication during hospital "handoffs," when patient care transitions from one physician or team of physicians to the next, may be responsible for many of the estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths that occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, according to a study published in the December issue of Academic Medicine.

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Yoga Reduces Symptoms of Chronic Low Back Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga appears to be more effective than traditional exercise at reducing chronic lower back pain, according to a study published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Carbon Monoxide Relieves Chronic Colitis in Mice

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled carbon monoxide (CO) relieves symptoms of chronic colitis in mice, which may explain why cigarette smoking protects against ulcerative colitis in humans, according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

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Company Recalls NeutroSpec Imaging Agent After Deaths

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Acting at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the makers of NeutroSpec (Technetium 99m Tc fanolesomab), an imaging agent approved to diagnose appendicitis, are voluntarily withdrawing the product from the market.

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Diesel Exhaust Impairs Cardiovascular Function

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaling diesel exhaust fumes at levels common in big cities impairs vascular function in humans, according to a new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Acute Respiratory Syndrome Lethal in Autoimmune Patients

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a common event in patients with "catastrophic" antiphospholipid autoimmune disease, according to a report in the January issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Patients with antiphospholipid disease who present with ARDS should be suspected of the catastrophic version of the disease, which is characterized by multiorgan failure due to small vessel occlusion.

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Marker Signals Drug Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lower levels of soluble interleukin 2 receptor (sIL2R), a marker of lymphocyte activation, may predict a better response in rheumatoid arthritis patients to infliximab therapy, at least in the short run, according to a report in the January issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Cartilage Loss Highly Variable Among Arthroplasty Patients

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Loss of cartilage varies widely among patients with advanced osteoarthritis prior to knee arthroplasty, and a loss of cartilage at the tibia, not the femur, is associated with alignment, according to a study published in the January issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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Disease-Related Internet Use Expected to Increase

THURSDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Chronically ill adult patients are frequent users of the Internet to get information about their condition and seek mutual support, and they say they expect to increase their use in the future to contact their care providers, according to a study in the January issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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More Lupus Patients Getting Cholesterol Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Although more patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are receiving treatment for elevated cholesterol and hypertension, many still remain untreated, according to a report in the January 2006 issue of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

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FDA Announces Recall of One Lot of Methotrexate

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday the recall of one lot of injectable methotrexate because the active drug substance used to make it contained small amounts of ethylene glycol. Bedford Laboratories, a division of Ben Venue Laboratories, Inc. of Bedford, Ohio, voluntarily recalled Lot #859142.

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Oral Contraceptives OK for Some Patients with Lupus

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Although the use of oral contraceptives is contraindicated in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) because of estrogen-related side effects, two studies in the Dec. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggest the pill might be considered for patients with inactive or moderately active, stable disease.

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U.S. Hospitals Lag in Adopting Safety Recommendations

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some improvements in hospital patient safety systems, many hospitals have made slow progress in adopting 1998 recommendations from the Institute of Medicine National Roundtable on Health Care Quality or from subsequent reports, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sleep Quality, Social Factors Predict IL-6 in Women

MONDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who have good sleep quality and social relationships have lower levels of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6, according to study findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Febuxostat More Effective Than Allopurinol for Gout

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Febuxostat is more effective than allopurinol in the treatment of gout, researchers report in the Dec. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fibromyalgia Patients May Benefit from Insomnia Therapy

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Insomnia is a common problem in fibromyalgia patients and a new study suggests that a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may improve insomnia and other symptoms, according to a report published in the Nov. 28 Archives of Internal Medicine.

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COX-2 Inhibitors Don't Provide Added Stomach Protection

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- COX-2 inhibitors aren't any less harmful to the stomach lining than conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), according to a study published in the Dec. 3 issue of the British Medical Journal.

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Pain Management Crucial Part of Treatment for Arthritis

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatologists need to appreciate the pain experienced by their patients and learn how to best evaluate and treat it, according to a review article in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Type II Collagen Plays Key Role in Rheumatoid Arthritis

FRIDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- When type II collagen (CII) is modified by oxidants present in rheumatic joints, it binds antibodies and plays a significant role in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study in the December issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Physician's Briefing