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A Journal on Internal Medicine
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,6
Panminerva Medica 2000 December;42(4):263-6
Impaired cutaneous cell-mediated immunity in newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis
Coaccioli S., Di Cato L., Marioli D., Patucchi E., Pizzuti C., Ponteggia M., Puxeddu A.
From the Department of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology Unit Perugia University School of Medicine “Santa Maria” Hospital, Terni, Italy
Background. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by an impaired immune response and a defective cutaneous cell-mediated immunity has been reported. This study was realised in order to determine the characteristics of cutaneous cell-mediated immunity in patients affected by recent-onset and untreated rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods. Forty-enght patients affected by newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis were studied by skin testing with seven common recall antigens. The skin tests were performed before the administration of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (methotrexate, cyclosporine-A, hydroxychloroquine) and were repeated after four months of therapy.
Results. 43.75% of the RA patients (21 out of 48) were defined as anergic compared with 2% of the normal control subjects and the rate of depression of cutaneous cell-mediated immunity was not related either with the markers of disease activity or with the clinical assessment. The impaired cutaneous cell-mediated immunity shows a slight improvement after methotrexate therapy, while cyclosporine-A and hydroxychloroquine were not able to achieve the same result.
Conclusions. Rheumatoid arthritis shows a defective cutaneous cell-mediated immunity when the patients are studied in the early phase of the disease and before a second-line of therapy with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. The anergy does not correlate either with the disease activity or with the short-term response to treatment. The prognostic significance of these data remains uncertain.