Rheum Round-up: Tocilizumab and Diverticulitis Risk, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension With Connective Tissue Disease, and more

Tocilizumab was associated with a greater risk for diverticulitis and gastrointestinal perforation (GIP) compared to rituximab and abatacept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a study. Specifically, the authors reported in Rheumatology, patients with RA who received tocilizumab had a greater risk of diverticulitis than those treated with rituximab or abatacept and were also more likely to have GIP due to diverticulitis than their rituximab and abatacept counterparts, which increased their overall risk of GIP. The researchers did not observe an increased risk of GIP attributable to any other etiology in the tocilizumab group.

Although patients with connective tissue disease (CTD)-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) have a higher risk of death than the overall PAH population, recent improvements in treatments and therapies have led to reduced morbidity/mortality risks for both groups over the last 10 years, thereby increasing survival rates, according to a report in Arthritis & Rheumatology. “Patients with CTD-PAH have a higher risk of death than the overall PAH population; however, survival has improved among this subgroup treated in the last 10 years compared to earlier cohorts. Patients with systemic sclerosis have worse survival rates than those with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Given the high risk of mortality in these patients, early detection and up-front aggressive treatment are warranted,” the researchers stated in their conclusion.

Finally, a study identified factors predictive of preterm birth in pregnant women with SLE, including a look at preconception care. The preterm birth group, compared to the full-term birth group, had significantly lower pre-pregnancy serum complement 3 (C3) level. Pre-pregnancy factors associated with pre-term birth upon multivariate analysis were history of lupus and C3 level <85 mg/dl Women with more risk factors were more likely to have a preterm birth.

In Case You Missed It

Tocilizumab Increases Risk of Diverticulitis Compared to Rituximab and Abatacept in Rheumatoid Arthritis

A 10-year Analysis of Survival in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension With Versus Without Associated Connective Tissue Disease

Predicting Preterm Birth in Pregnancies of Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus