We determined congruence with published guidelines from the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)/EULAR Scleroderma Trials and Research group, for systemic sclerosis (SSc) investigations and treatment practices within the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG).
Investigations and medication use for SSc complications were obtained from records of patients with SSc in the CSRG to determine adherence to guidelines for patients enrolled before and after the guidelines were published.
The CSRG database of 1253 patients had 992 patients with SSc enrolled before publication of the guidelines and 261 after. For pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatment, there were no differences in use before and after the guidelines, yet annual echocardiograms for PAH screening were done in 95% of patients enrolled before the guidelines and in only 86% of those enrolled after (p 80% with gastroesophageal reflux disease before and after the guidelines. One-quarter with gastrointestinal symptoms were taking prokinetic drugs. For those with past SSc renal crisis, use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors was not different before and after the guidelines. For early diffuse SSc
This study was performed to determine the prevalence of elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and the significance of CRP in clinical parameters in systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma) patients.
Canadian Scleroderma Research Group data were used. Statistical comparisons were made for CRP levels =8 mg/liter versus >8 mg/liter, early (=3 years from first non-Raynaud's phenomenon symptom) versus late SSc, and diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc) versus limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc). A survival analysis was analyzed between patients with normal versus elevated CRP levels.
A total of 1,043 patients (mean ± SD age 55.4 ± 12.1 years, mean ± SD disease duration of 11.0 ± 9.5 years) were analyzed; elevation of CRP level and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR; >20 mm/hour) occurred in 25.7% and 38.2%, respectively. Mean ± SD baseline CRP level in dcSSc (11.98 ± 25.41 mg/liter) was higher than in lcSSc (8.15 ± 16.09 mg/liter; P = 0.016). SSc patients with an early disease duration had a higher mean ± SD CRP level (12.89 ± 28.13 mg/liter) than those with a late disease duration (8.60 ± 17.06 mg/liter; P = 0.041). Although not consistent in all subsets, CRP was significantly associated (P
There is currently no consensus on best practice in systemic sclerosis (SSc). To determine if variability in treatment and investigations exists, practices among Canadian Sclerodermia Research Group (CSRG) centres were compared.
Prospective clinical and demographic data from adult SSc patients are collected annually from 15 CSRG treatment centres. Laboratory parameters, self-reported socio-demographic questionnaires, current and past medications and disease outcome measures are recorded. For centres with >50 patients enrolled, treatment practices were analysed to determine practice variability.
Data from 640 of 938 patients within the CSRG database met inclusion criteria, where 87.3% were female, the mean ± SEM age was 55.3±0.5, 48.9% had limited SSc and 47.8% had diffuse SSc (and 3.3% uncharacterised). Some investigation and treatment practices were inconsistent among 6 centres including proportion receiving: PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitors for Raynaud's phenomenon (p=0.036); cyclophosphamide (p=0.037) and azathioprine (p=0.037) for treatment of ILD; and current use of D-penicillamine, although uncommon, varied among sites. Annual echocardiograms and PFTs were frequently done and did not vary among sites but the rate of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was directly related to site size and this was not the case for other organ involvement.
Despite routine tests within a database, site variation in SSc with respect to investigations and management among CSRG centres exists suggesting a need for a standardised approach to the investigation and treatment of SSc. One can speculate that larger centres are more export in detecting PAH.
We compared variations among Canadian provinces in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) initiating anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy.
Data were obtained from the Optimization of Humira trial (OH) and from the Ontario Biologics Research Initiative (OBRI). Baseline characteristics were compared between regions: Ontario (ON), Quebec (QC), and other provinces (OTH). We compared Ontario OH to OBRI patients who were initiating anti-TNF therapy.
In 300 OH patients, mean age was 54.8 years (13.3). There were 151 (50.3%) ON patients, 57 from QC (19%), and 92 from OTH (30.7%). Regional differences were seen in the number of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) ever taken (ON: 3.8 ± 1.4, QC: 3.1 ± 1.1, OTH: 3.3 ± 1.4; p
In systemic lupus erythematosus, socioeconomic status (SES) affects outcomes. SES can modify outcomes by altering timing of access to care and adherence. It is unknown whether SES affects systemic sclerosis (SSc) outcomes. Disease can affect income and cause work disability, thus education (completed long before SSc onset) may be a proxy for SES.
The Canadian Scleroderma Research Group collects annual data on patients with SSc. Baseline data were used from a prevalent cohort. Education was stratified by whether participants completed high school. Regression models assessed effects of education on organ complications and survival.
In our study, 1145 patients with SSc had 11.0 ± 9.5 years' disease duration; 86% were women, with a mean age of 55.4 ± 12.1 years. About one-quarter did not complete high school; this was more common in older patients (p