Interventions for dysphagia in long-term, progressive muscle disease
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2016;((2)):CD004303.
BACKGROUND Normal swallowing function is divided into oral, pharyngeal, and oesophageal phases. The anatomy and physiology of the oral cavity facilitates an oral preparatory phase of swallowing, in which food and liquid are pushed towards the pharynx by the tongue. During pharyngeal and oesophageal phases of swallowing, food and liquid are moved from the pharynx to the stomach via the oesophagus. Our understanding of swallowing function in health and disease has informed our understanding of how muscle weakness can disrupt swallowing in people with muscle disease. As a common complication of long-term, progressive muscle disease, there is a clear need to evaluate the current interventions for managing swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). This is an update of a review first published in 2004. OBJECTIVES To assess the effects of interventions for dysphagia in people with long-term, progressive muscle disease. SEARCH METHODS On 11 January 2016, we searched the Cochrane Neuromuscular Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, LILACS, and CINAHL. We checked references in the identified trials for additional randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials. We also searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform on 12 January 2016 for ongoing or completed but unpublished clinical trials. SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials that assessed the effect of interventions for managing dysphagia in adults and children with long-term, progressive muscle disease, compared to other interventions, placebo, no intervention, or standard care. Quasi-randomised controlled trials are trials that used a quasi-random method of allocation, such as date of birth, alternation, or case record number. Review authors previously excluded trials involving people with muscle conditions of a known inflammatory or toxic aetiology. In this review update, we decided to include trials of people with sporadic inclusion body myositis (IBM) on the basis that it presents as a long-term, progressive muscle disease with uncertain degenerative and inflammatory aetiology and is typically refractory to treatment. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We applied standard Cochrane methodological procedures. MAIN RESULTS There were no randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that reported results in terms of the review's primary outcome of interest, weight gain or maintenance. However, we identified one RCT that assessed the effect of intravenous immunoglobulin on swallowing function in people with IBM. The trial authors did not specify the number of study participants who had dysphagia. There was also incomplete reporting of findings from videofluoroscopic investigations, which was one of the review's secondary outcome measures. The study did report reductions in the time taken to swallow, as measured using ultrasound. No serious adverse events occurred during the study, although data for the follow-up period were lacking. It was also unclear whether the non-serious adverse events reported occurred in the treatment group or the placebo group. We assessed this study as having a high risk of bias and uncertain confidence intervals for the review outcomes, which limited the overall quality of the evidence. Using GRADE criteria, we downgraded the quality of the evidence from this RCT to 'low' for efficacy in treating dysphagia, due to limitations in study design and implementation, and indirectness in terms of the population and outcome measures. Similarly, we assessed the quality of the evidence for adverse events as 'low'. From our search for RCTs, we identified two other non-randomised studies, which reported the effects of long-term intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in adults with IBM and lip-strengthening exercises in children with myotonic dystrophy type 1. Headaches affected two participants treated with long-term intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, who received a tailored dose reduction; there
Systematic review of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for juvenile idiopathic arthritis
BMC Pediatrics. 2012;12:29
BACKGROUND Treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may improve outcomes compared to conventional therapy (e.g., non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intra-articular corticosteroids). The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the comparative effectiveness and safety of DMARDs versus conventional therapy and versus other DMARDs. RESULTS A systematic evidence review of 156 reports identified in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and by hand searches. There is some evidence that methotrexate is superior to conventional therapy. Among children who have responded to a biologic DMARD, randomized discontinuation trials suggest that continued treatment decreases the risk of having a flare. However, these studies evaluated DMARDs with different mechanisms of action (abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, etanercept, intravenous immunoglobulin, tocilizumab) and used varying comparators and follow-up periods. Rates of serious adverse events are similar between DMARDs and placebo in published trials. This review identified 11 incident cases of cancer among several thousand children treated with one or more DMARD. CONCLUSIONS Few data are available to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of either specific DMARDs or general classes of DMARDs. However, based on the overall number, quality, and consistency of studies, there is moderate strength of evidence to support that DMARDs improve JIA-associated symptoms. Limited data suggest that short-term risk of cancer is low.
A controlled study of intravenous immunoglobulin combined with prednisone in the treatment of IBM
OBJECTIVE To investigate whether the combination of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) with prednisone improves muscle strength and alters endomysial inflammation in patients with sporadic inclusion body myositis (s-IBM). BACKGROUND In a previous controlled trial in s-IBM, IVIg did not significantly improve strength in spite of modest benefits in some muscle groups. The possibility that prednisone may have a synergistic effect with IVIg prompted another controlled trial. METHODS Thirty-six patients with biopsy-proven IBM were randomized to receive IVIg or placebo monthly for 3 months. Before infusions, all patients were started on high-dose prednisone for 3 months. Primary outcome measures were differences in the 1) Quantitative Muscle Strength (QMT) testing; and 2) modified Medical Research Council (MRC) scores, between the patients randomized to IVIg + prednisone compared with those randomized to placebo + prednisone. Repeated open muscle biopsies were performed at random in 24 patients to determine changes in the number of autoinvasive T cells and necrotic muscle fibers. RESULTS Nineteen patients were randomized to IVIg + prednisone and 17 to placebo + prednisone. No significant change was noted in muscle strength, assessed by QMT and MRC, from baseline to the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th month after treatment between the two groups. The number of necrotic fibers was reduced in the IVIg randomized group (p < 0.01), and the mean number of CD2+ cells was significantly decreased in both groups (p < 0.0001), denoting a steroid effect. CONCLUSION IVIg combined with prednisone for a 3-month period was not effective in IBM. Endomysial inflammation was significantly reduced after treatment, but the reduction was not of clinical significance.
Treatment of inclusion-body myositis with IVIg: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study
We randomized 19 patients with inclusion-body myositis (IBM) to a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study using monthly infusions of 2 g/kg intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) or placebo for 3 months. Patients crossed over to the alternate treatment after a washout period. We evaluated responses at baseline and at the end of each treatment period using expanded (0-10) MRC scales, the Maximum Voluntary Isometric Contraction (MVIC) method, symptom and disability scores, and quantitative swallowing studies. We calculated the differences in scores between IVIg and placebo from baseline to end of treatment. Of the 19 patients, 9 (mean age, 61.2 years; mean disease duration, 5.6 years) were randomized to IVIg and 10 (mean age, 66.1 years; mean disease duration, 7.4 years) to placebo. During IVIg the patients gained a mean of 4.2 (-16 to +39.8) MRC points, and during placebo lost 2.7 (-10 to +8) points (p < 0.1). These gains were not significant. Similar results were obtained with the MRC and MVIC scores when the patients crossed to the alternate treatment. Six patients had a functionally important improvement by more than 10 MRC points that declined when crossed over to placebo. Limb-by-limb analysis demonstrated that during IVIg the muscle strength in 39% of the lower extremity limbs significantly increased compared with placebo (p < 0.05), while a simultaneous decrease in 28% of other limbs was detected. The clinical importance of these minor gains is unclear. The duration of swallowing functions measured in seconds with ultrasound improved statistically in the IVIg-randomized patients (p < 0.05) compared with placebo. Although the study did not establish efficacy of IVIg, possibly because of the small sample size, the drug induced functionally important improvement in 6 (28%) of the 19 patients. Whether the modest gains noted in certain muscle groups justify the high cost of trying IVIg in IBM patients at a given stage of the disease remains unclear.
Intra-articular administration of polyclonal immunoglobulin G in rheumatoid arthritis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study
Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology. 1996;25((3):):174-6.
The aim of our study was to assess local anti-inflammatory effects of high dose immunoglobulin G (IgG) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Eleven patients with definite RA, having flare-up of knee joint synovitis, were included in the study. Six received an intra-articular injection of 1 g of IgG in 10 ml saline and five received an intra-articular injection of 10 ml physiological saline alone. The effect of the treatment was evaluated clinically and by magnetic resonance imaging using gadolinium contrast enhancement. In one of the six patients that received intra-articular IgG and one of the five patients that received physiologic saline a modest decrease of synovial hypertrophy was noted. None of the patients experienced clinical signs of increased joint inflammation as a consequence of the treatment procedures. The results of this pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled study do not support local administration of IgG as an anti-inflammatory treatment in patients with RA.
Failure of low-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy to suppress disease activity in patients with treatment-refractory rheumatoid arthritis
Arthritis & Rheumatism. 1996;39((6):):1027-9.
OBJECTIVE Treatment with high-dose (400 mg/kg/day) intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) shows benefit in many autoimmune diseases but is very expensive. Low-dose IVIg has also been shown to be effective in inhibiting adjuvant arthritis in the rat. This pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to assess the use of low-dose IVIg in patients with treatment-refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS Twenty patients with active RA were recruited. Ten patients received IVIg and 10 received albumin. Study subjects were given 6 courses of either IVIg (5 mg/kg) or albumin (5 mg/kg), once every 3 weeks. Baseline medications were continued and not changed throughout the study. RESULTS There were no complications. Five patients dropped out before the 18-week followup visit. No significant differences between treatment groups were noted during the 18-week trial in terms of global activity indices (patient or physician assessment), joint swelling, joint pain or tenderness, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein level, or rheumatoid factor. The protocol was terminated prematurely because of reported contamination of IVIg by hepatitis C virus. None of the patients showed evidence of hepatitis C infection by serologic analysis or by polymerase chain reaction. CONCLUSION Low-dose IVIg, as administered in this trial, does not show a therapeutic effect in patients with refractory RA.