Rheumatology Rundown: Protein Biomarker Differentiates PsA From RA, Improving Vaccine Uncertainty, New Upadacitinib Results

The latest news in the rheumatology space revealed potential biomarkers for differentiating psoriatic arthritis (PsA) from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as other rheumatology news reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

Recent reports from Rheumatology Network™ detailed some of the latest rheumatology research results, including new ways to better diagnose psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), improvements in COVID-19 vaccine uncertainty among patients with rheumatic diseases, and positive efficacy data for upadacitinib.

Serum Protein Biomarker Differentiates Between PsA and RA

A serum protein biomarker panel was found to be effective in differentiating PsA from RA in patients with early inflammatory arthritis. Although the current classification criteria for PsA is highly sensitive, it is not recommended for diagnosis, especially for patients with early disease.

During the analysis, 231 patients with RA or PsA were enrolled, and 451 proteins were identified, of which 175 were differentially expressed between the 2 conditions. A multivariate analysis indicated that PsA and RA could be differentiated with an area under the curve of 0.73. Despite the small sample size, the investigators said that they believe the sample was representative of an average patient attending an inflammatory arthritis clinic.

Read more about the study in Rheumatology Network.

SMS-Based Video Improves Vaccine Uncertainty

An SMS-based, interactive, educational video detailing information related to COVID-19 vaccines was found to increase confidence in vaccine safety among patients with rheumatic diseases, a patient population that experiences a great deal of uncertainty and low confidence in vaccines because many are regularly treated with immunosuppressive drugs.

After a 14-day evaluation period, knowledge regarding vaccine safety and recommendations for patients with rheumatic diseases increased from 36% to 88% for patients aged 30 to 49 years, 47% to 92% for those aged 50 to 69 years, and 52% to 94% for patients 70 years and older after viewing the video. Likert scores suggested that viewing the video led to patients generally feeling more informed and willing to receive the vaccine.

Read more about the results in Rheumatology Network.

Upadacitinib Successful at Treating PsA and Axial Involvement

A study presented at the EULAR 2021 Virtual Congress demonstrated that upadacitinib was effective at treating patients with PsA and axial involvement, a subset of the PsA population that is more likely to experience a higher disease burden and lower quality of life than patients without axial involvement.

The study also showed that the drug did not increase uveitis rates and did not result in inflammatory bowel disease. Patients who received upadacitinib had significantly better clinical improvements vs the placebo group, regardless of whether they had low or inactive disease activity. The results were consistent with those seen in patients with ankylosing spondyloarthritis.

Read more about the study in Rheumatology Network.