Does C-reactive protein predict the long-term progression of interstitial lung disease and survival in patients with early systemic sclerosis?
ABSTRACT: There are no identified clinical markers that reliably predict long-term progression of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma). Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels have been reported in SSc patients. We examined the predictive significance of CRP level for long-term ILD progression in a large early SSc cohort.First, the CRP levels were compared between baseline samples of 266 SSc patients enrolled in the Genetics Versus Environment in Scleroderma Outcome Study cohort and 97 unaffected matched controls. Subsequently, the correlation between CRP levels and concomitantly obtained markers of disease severity was assessed. Serially obtained % predicted forced vital capacity (FVC) was used to examine the long-term ILD progression. The predictive significance of CRP level was investigated by a joint analysis of longitudinal measurements (serial FVCs up to 13 years) and survival data. This approach allowed inclusion of all 1,016 FVC measurements and accounted for survival dependency.We confirmed that baseline CRP levels were higher in SSc patients than controls. CRP levels were associated with absence of anticentromere antibodies and correlated with the concomitant severity of lung, skin, and joint involvement. More importantly, higher baseline CRP levels were associated with shorter survival (P < 0.001) and predicted the long-term decline in FVC independent of potential confounders (age at baseline, sex, ethnicity, disease type, current smoking, body mass index, topoisomerase status, and treatment with immunosuppressive agents) in the multivariable model (P = 0.006).Baseline CRP levels are predictive of long-term ILD progression. CRP level might aid clinicians in identifying patients that require more intensive monitoring and treatment.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To assess survival and identify predictors of survival in patients with systemic sclerosis-interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) who participated in the Scleroderma Lung Studies (SLS) I and II. METHODS:SLS I randomised 158 patients with SSc-ILD to 1 ?year of oral cyclophosphamide (CYC) vs placebo. SLS II randomised 142 patients to 1?year of oral CYC followed by 1?year of placebo vs 2 years of mycophenolate mofetil. Counting process Cox proportional hazard modelling identified variables associated with long-term mortality in SLS I and II. Internal validation was performed using joint modelling. RESULTS:After a median follow-up of 8 years, 42% of SLS I patients died, and when known the cause of death was most often attributable to SSc. There was no significant difference in the time to death between treatment arms in SLS I or II. Higher baseline skin score, older age, and a decline in the forced vital capacity (FVC) and the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) over 2 years were independently associated with an increased risk of mortality in SLS I. The Cox model identified the same mortality predictor variables using the SLS II data. CONCLUSION:In addition to identifying traditional mortality risk factors in SSc (skin score, age), this study demonstrated that a decline in FVC and DLCO over 2 years was a better predictor of mortality than baseline FVC and DLCO. These findings suggest that short-term changes in surrogate measures of SSc-ILD progression may have important effects on long-term outcomes.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate the relationship between Krebs von den Lungen 6 (KL-6) and CCL18 levels and the severity and progression of systemic sclerosis (SSc)-related interstitial lung disease (ILD). METHODS:Patients enrolled in the Scleroderma Lung Study II (cyclophosphamide [CYC] versus mycophenolate mofetil [MMF]) were included. Baseline and 12-month plasma samples were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to assess CCL18 and KL-6 levels. The forced vital capacity (FVC) and the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLco) were measured every 3 months. Joint models were created to investigate the relationship between baseline CCL18 and KL-6 levels and the course of the FVC and DLco over 1 year according to treatment arm. RESULTS:Baseline KL-6 and CCL18 levels each correlated with the extent of radiographic fibrosis. Levels of both CCL18 and KL-6 declined significantly at 1 year. In both treatment arms (n = 71 for CYC, n = 62 for MMF), a higher baseline KL-6 level predicted progression of ILD based on the course of FVC (P = 0.024 for CYC; P = 0.005 for MMF) and DLco (P < 0.001 for CYC; P = 0.004 for MMF) over 1 year. A higher baseline CCL18 level predicted progression of ILD based on the course of the FVC (P < 0.001 for CYC; P = 0.007 for MMF) and DLco (P = 0.001 for CYC; P < 0.001 for MMF) over 1 year, as well as mortality (P = 0.0008 for CYC arm only). CONCLUSION:In a rigorously conducted clinical trial for SSc-related ILD, KL-6 and CCL18 levels correlated with ILD severity and declined with immunosuppression. Patients with higher baseline KL-6 and CCL18 levels were more likely to experience disease progression despite treatment. KL-6 and CCL18 levels could be used to identify patients with a progressive ILD phenotype who may benefit from a more aggressive initial treatment approach.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a leading cause of mortality in SSc. Little is known about the benefits of immunosuppressive drugs in mild ILD. Our aim was to determine whether use of CYC or MMF was associated with an improved ILD course in patients with normal or mildly impaired lung function.<h4>Methods</h4>A retrospective cohort of SSc subjects with ILD, disease duration below seven years and no exposure to CYC or MMF prior to the baseline visit was constructed from the Canadian Scleroderma Research Group registry. Subjects were categorized as having mild ILD if baseline forced vital capacity (FVC % predicted) was >85%. The primary exposure was any use of CYC or MMF at the baseline visit. FVC at one year was compared between exposed and unexposed subjects, using multivariate linear regression.<h4>Results</h4>Out of 294 eligible SSc-ILD subjects, 116 met criteria for mild ILD. In this subgroup, mean (s.d.) disease duration was 3.7 (2.0) years. Thirteen (11.2%) subjects were exposed to CYC or MMF at baseline. The one-year FVC was higher in exposed subjects compared with unexposed subjects, by a difference of 8.49% (95% CI: 0.01-16.98%). None of the exposed subjects experienced clinically meaningful progression over two years, whereas 24.6% of unexposed subjects did.<h4>Conclusion</h4>In this real-world setting, CYC/MMF exposure at baseline was associated with higher FVC values and a lower risk of progression among subjects with mild ILD. These data suggest a window of opportunity to preserve lung function in SSc-ILD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increased circulatory levels of the chemokine CXCL4 have been associated with the presence of interstitial lung disease (ILD) in an observational study of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between baseline CXCL4 level and extent of ILD in the context of a randomized controlled trial and to determine whether changes in CXCL4 levels in response to immunosuppression are associated with future progression of SSc-ILD. METHODS:A total of 142 SSc-ILD patients from Scleroderma Lung Study (SLS) II were randomized in a double-blind, parallel-arm trial, to receive mycophenolate (MMF) for 2 years or oral cyclophosphamide (CYC) for 1 year followed by 1 year of placebo. Plasma CXCL4 levels were measured at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months in SLS II participants (N?=?136) and at a single time point in healthy controls (N?=?67). A mixed-effects model evaluated the relationship between change in CXCL4 levels and SSc-ILD progression. The primary outcome was the course of the forced vital capacity. RESULTS:Baseline CXCL4 levels were significantly higher in SSc-ILD patients compared with healthy controls (2699?±?1489 ng/ml vs 2233?±?1351 ng/ml (mean?±?SD); P?=?0.019). However, no significant correlations were identified between CXCL4 levels and extent of ILD at baseline, as measured by the forced vital capacity, diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide, or radiographic extent of ILD. Plasma CXCL4 decreased significantly from baseline to 12 months in all patients (CYC: P?<?0.001; MMF: P?=?0.006) with no between-treatment differences (CYC vs MMF). Patients with the largest decline in CXCL4 levels during the first 12 months had an improved course of forced vital capacity %-predicted from 12 to 24 months (P?=?0.040), even after adjusting for baseline disease severity and treatment arm assignment. CONCLUSIONS:Levels of CXCL4 were higher in patients with SSc-ILD compared with controls and decreased in all patients treated with immunosuppressive therapy. While CXCL4 levels were not correlated with extent of ILD at baseline, changes in CXCL4 at 12 months predicted future progression of SSc-ILD from 12 to 24 months. These findings suggest that intermediate-term changes in CXCL4 may have predictive significance for long-term progression of SSc-ILD in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00883129 . Registered 16 April 2009.
Project description:Patients with systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) are thought to have the greatest decline in lung function (forced vital capacity [FVC]% predicted) in the early years after disease onset. The aim of this study was to assess the natural history of the decline in FVC% predicted in patients receiving placebo in the Scleroderma Lung Study and to evaluate possible factors for cohort enrichment in future therapeutic trials.Patients randomized to receive placebo (n=79) were divided into 3 groups based on the duration of SSc (0-2 years, 2-4 years, and >4 years). Descriptive statistics and a mixed-effects model were used to analyze the rate of decline in the FVC% predicted over a 1-year period. Additional analyses stratified according to the severity of fibrosis on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) were performed, and interactions between disease severity and disease duration were explored.The mean±SD decline in the unadjusted FVC% predicted during the 1-year period was 4.2±12.8%. At baseline, 28.5%, 43.0%, and 28.5% of patients were in the groups with disease durations of 0-2 years, 2-4 years, and >4 years, respectively. The rate of decline in the FVC% predicted was not significantly different across the 3 disease groups (P=0.85). When stratified by baseline fibrosis on HRCT, the rate of decline in the FVC% predicted was statistically significantly greater in the group with severe fibrosis (mean annualized decline in the FVC% predicted 7.2% versus 2.7% in the groups with no or moderate fibrosis; P=0.008). The decline observed in the group with severe fibrosis was most pronounced in those with a relatively short disease duration (0-2 years; annualized decline 7.0%).Among patients with SSc-ILD in the Scleroderma Lung Study, the rates of progression of lung disease were similar irrespective of disease duration. The baseline HRCT fibrosis score is a predictor of a future decline in the FVC% predicted in the absence of effective treatment.
Project description:Cough is a significant symptom in patients with scleroderma interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD), affecting 73% of the 158 patients enrolled in the Scleroderma Lung Study (SLS), a multicenter randomized trial of oral cyclophosphamide (CYC) vs placebo (PLA) in patients with active interstitial lung disease.We examined the correlation of cough frequency and severity and phlegm production at baseline in 156 SLS participants with other baseline variables representing SSc-ILD disease activity and the cough response to 1 year of treatment with CYC vs PLA.Patients with cough at baseline had significantly lower diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide, dyspnea, the quality-of-life physical component summary, and the maximal fibrosis score on high-resolution CT imaging compared with those without cough at baseline. Cough severity and frequency correlated with FVC % predicted. After 12 months of treatment, cough frequency decreased in the CYC group compared with the PLA group and was significantly different from the PLA group at 18 months (6 months after discontinuation of CYC). However, the decreases in cough frequency did not correlate with the changes in FVC or diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide observed in the CYC group. Treatment-related improvements in cough frequency, as well as in FVC, were no longer apparent 12 months after discontinuation of CYC.Cough is a common symptom in SSc-ILD and correlates with the extent of fibrosis. Cough frequency decreases significantly in response to treatment with CYC but returns to baseline 1 year after withdrawal of treatment. Cough may be a symptom of ongoing fibrosis and an independent variable in assessing therapeutic response to CYC.ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT000004563; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Our objective was to determine if treatment with cyclophosphamide (CYC) and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) improves patient-reported outcomes (PROs) among patients with systemic sclerosis-related interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD). METHODS:This study examined PROs in patients with SSc-ILD (N = 142) who participated in the Scleroderma Lung Study II, a randomized controlled trial comparing MMF for 2 years with oral CYC for 1 year followed by 1 year of a placebo. Joint models were created to evaluate the course of PROs over 2 years. The difference in PRO scores from baseline to 24 months was measured, and the percentage of patients meeting the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) was calculated. Correlations between PROs and SSc-ILD disease severity measures were also examined. RESULTS:Treatment with CYC and MMF led to improvements in several PROs with no between-treatment differences. Scores for the Transitional Dyspnea Index (TDI) and St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) improved significantly over 2 years, and 29%/24% and 28%/25% of participants in the CYC/MMF groups met or exceeded the MCID estimates for TDI and SGRQ, respectively. At baseline, the forced vital capacity (FVC) percentage predicted (FVC%-predicted) did not correlate with the Baseline Dyspnea Index or SGRQ. However, improvements in the FVC%-predicted were weakly associated with improvements in dyspnea (assessed by the TDI) and SGRQ scores. CONCLUSION:Treatment with CYC and MMF improved overall health-related quality of life in patients with SSc-ILD. The relationship between PRO measures and the FVC was relatively weak, suggesting that PROs provide complementary information about treatment efficacy not captured by changes in the FVC alone in this patient population.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate short- and long-term outcomes of African American (AA) participants of Scleroderma Lung Studies (SLS) I and II.<h4>Methods</h4>SLS I randomized 158 participants with systemic sclerosis-interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) to 1 year of oral cyclophosphamide (CYC) versus placebo. SLS II randomized 142 participants with SSc-ILD to 1 year of oral CYC followed by 1 year of placebo versus 2 years of mycophenolate (MMF). Joint models compared the course of forced vital capacity (FVC) and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) between AA and non-AA, and Cox proportional hazard models assessed long-term morbidity and mortality outcomes.<h4>Results</h4>In SLS I, there was no difference in the course of the FVC or DLCO between AA and non-AA in either treatment arm. In SLS II, AA had an improved course of the FVC compared with non-AA in the CYC arm; in the MMF arm, there was no difference in FVC course. There was no difference in DLCO course in either arm. Time to death and respiratory failure were similar for AA and non-AA in SLS I. There was a trend for improved survival and time to respiratory failure in AA compared with non-AA in SLS II. AA race was not independently associated with mortality in the SLS I or II in the Cox models.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Data from two randomized controlled trials demonstrated that AA patients with SSc-ILD have similar morbidity and mortality outcomes compared with non-AA patients. These findings contrast with the racial disparities described in prior observational studies and warrant further investigation.
Project description:Systemic sclerosis-related interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) is the leading cause of death in SSc. In this study, we aimed to describe the baseline severity and evolution of forced vital capacity (FVC) and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) in patients with SSc-ILD and to assess the baseline clinical, biological and high-resolution CT scan (HRCT) predictors of this evolution. Baseline and serial FVC and DLCO were collected in 75 SSc-ILD patients followed during 6.4±4.2 years (n = 557 individual data). FVC and DLCO evolution was modelled using a linear mixed model with random effect. During follow-up, FVC was stable while DLCO significantly decreased (-1.5±0.3%/year (p<0.0001). Baseline NYHA functional class III/IV, extensive SSc-ILD on HRCT and DLCO<80% were associated with a lower baseline FVC. Absence of digital ulcers extensive SSc-ILD, and FVC<80% and were associated with a lower baseline DLCO. Presence or history of digital ulcers and presence of pulmonary hypertension at baseline or during follow-up were associated with a faster decline of DLCO overtime. Neither age, gender, subtype of SSc nor specificity of autoantibodies were associated with baseline severity or outcome of lung function tests. In this SSc-ILD population, FVC was therefore stable while DLCO significantly declined over time. ILD extension was associated with baseline FVC and DLCO but not with their evolution. Presence or history of digital ulcers and pulmonary hypertension were predictors of a faster decline of DLCO over time.
Project description:Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a systemic autoimmune disease affecting multiple organ systems, including the lungs. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the leading cause of death in SSc.There are no valid biomarkers to predict the occurrence of SSc-ILD, although auto-antibodies against anti-topoisomerase I and several inflammatory markers are candidate biomarkers that need further evaluation. Chest auscultation, presence of shortness of breath and pulmonary function testing are important diagnostic tools, but lack sensitivity to detect early ILD. Baseline screening with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) is therefore necessary to confirm an SSc-ILD diagnosis. Once diagnosed with SSc-ILD, patients' clinical courses are variable and difficult to predict, although certain patient characteristics and biomarkers are associated with disease progression. It is important to monitor patients with SSc-ILD for signs of disease progression, although there is no consensus about which diagnostic tools to use or how often monitoring should occur. In this article, we review methods used to define and predict disease progression in SSc-ILD.There is no valid definition of SSc-ILD disease progression, but we suggest that either a decline in forced vital capacity (FVC) from baseline of ?10%, or a decline in FVC of 5-9% in association with a decline in diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide of ?15% represents progression. An increase in the radiographic extent of ILD on HRCT imaging would also signify progression. A time period of 1-2?years is generally used for this definition, but a decline over a longer time period may also reflect clinically relevant disease progression.