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Editor's Choice
  • Fussner LA
  • Flores-Suárez LF
  • Cartin-Ceba R
  • Specks U
  • Cox PG
  • et al.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2024 May 1;209(9):1141-1151 doi: 10.1164/rccm.202308-1426OC.
POPULATION:

Patients with severe antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis including glomerulonephritis and/or diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH), enrolled in the PEXIVAS trial (n= 704).

INTERVENTION:

Plasma exchange (PLEX) and standard glucocorticoid (GC) (n= 176). PLEX and reduced GC (n= 176).

COMPARISON:

No PLEX and standard GC (n= 175). No PLEX and reduced GC (n= 177).

OUTCOME:

At enrollment, 191 (27.1%) participants had DAH and were younger, more frequently relapsing, proteinase 3-ANCA positive, and had lower serum creatinine but were more frequently dialyzed than participants without DAH (n= 513 (72.9%)). Among those with DAH, 8/95 (8.4%) receiving PLEX died within one year vs. 15/96 (15.6%) with no-PLEX (HR 0.52; CI [0.21, 1.24]), while 13/96 (13.5%) receiving reduced-GC died vs. 10/95 (10.5%) with standard-GC (HR 1.33; CI [0.57, 3.13]). When ventilated, ventilator-free days were similar with PLEX vs. no-PLEX (medians 25; IQR 22, 26 vs. 22, 27), fewer with reduced-GC (23 [20, 25]) vs. standard-GC (26 [25, 28]). Treatment effects on mortality did not vary by presence or severity of DAH. Overall, 23/191 (12.0%) with DAH died within one year vs. 34/513 (6.6%) without DAH. End-stage kidney disease and serious infections did not differ by DAH status or treatments.

Rationale: Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) is a life-threatening manifestation of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV). The PEXIVAS (Plasma Exchange and Glucocorticoids in Severe Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis) (NCT00987389) trial was the largest in AAV and the first to enroll participants with DAH requiring mechanical ventilation. Objectives: Evaluate characteristics, treatment effects, and outcomes for patients with AAV with and without DAH. Methods: PEXIVAS randomized 704 participants to plasma exchange (PLEX) or no-PLEX and reduced or standard-dose glucocorticoids (GC). DAH status was defined at enrollment as no-DAH, nonsevere, or severe (room air oxygen saturation of ⩽ 85% as measured by pulse oximetry, or use of mechanical ventilation). Measurements and Main Results: At enrollment, 191 (27.1%) participants had DAH (61 severe, including 29 ventilated) and were younger, more frequently relapsing, PR3 (proteinase 3)-ANCA positive, and had lower serum creatinine but were more frequently dialyzed than participants without DAH (n = 513; 72.9%). Among those with DAH, 8/95 (8.4%) receiving PLEX died within 1 year versus 15/96 (15.6%) with no-PLEX (hazard ratio, 0.52; confidence interval [CI], 0.21-1.24), whereas 13/96 (13.5%) receiving reduced GC died versus 10/95 (10.5%) with standard GC (hazard ratio, 1.33; CI, 0.57-3.13). When ventilated, ventilator-free days were similar with PLEX versus no-PLEX (medians, 25; interquartile range [IQR], 22-26 vs. 22-27) and fewer with reduced GC (median, 23; IQR, 20-25) versus standard GC (median, 26; IQR, 25-28). Treatment effects on mortality did not vary by presence or severity of DAH. Overall, 23/191 (12.0%) with DAH died within 1 year versus 34/513 (6.6%) without DAH. End-stage kidney disease and serious infections did not differ by DAH status or treatments. Conclusions: Patients with AAV and DAH differ from those without DAH in multiple ways. Further data are required to confirm or refute a benefit of PLEX or GC dosing on mortality. Original clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00987389).

Editor's Choice
  • Miao J
  • Krisanapan P
  • Tangpanithandee S
  • Thongprayoon C
  • Cheungpasitporn W
  • et al.
Blood Purif. 2024;53(1):1-9 doi: 10.1159/000534102.
POPULATION:

Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV) patients with renal involvement (63 case reports and 13 case series, n= 154).

INTERVENTION:

Different therapeutic apheresis (TA) modalities: plasma exchange (PE), plasmapheresis (PP), and cryofiltration (CF).

COMPARISON:

OUTCOME:

A total of 154 patients experiencing 170 episodes of serious events that necessitated TA, were included in this systematic review. The CV type was classified as 15 type I cases, 97 type II cases, and 13 type III cases, while the remaining patients exhibited mixed (n= 17) or undetermined CV types (n= 12). Among the treatment modalities, PE, PP, and CF were performed in 85 (56%), 52 (34%), and 17 patients (11%), respectively, with no identical protocol for TA treatment. The overall response rate for TA was 78%, with response rates of 84%, 77%, and 75% observed in type I, II, and III patients respectively. Most patients received steroids, immunosuppressants, and treatment targeting the underlying causative disease. The overall long-term renal outcome rate was 77%, with type I, II, and III patients experiencing response rates of 89%, 76%, and 90%, respectively. The renal outcomes in patients receiving PE, PP, and CF were comparable, with rates of 78%, 76%, and 81%, respectively.

INTRODUCTION:

Therapeutic apheresis (TA) is commonly used for cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV) patients, but its efficacy remains uncertain. This systematic review aimed to assess the efficacy of different TA modalities, such as plasma exchange (PE), plasmapheresis (PP), and cryofiltration (CF), in treating CV patients with renal involvement.

METHODS:

Literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Databases was conducted up to December 2022. Studies that reported the outcomes of TA in adult CV patients with renal involvement were assessed. The protocol for this systematic review has been registered with PROSPERO (No. CRD42023417727). The quality of each study was evaluated by the investigators using the validated methodological index for non-randomized studies (minors) quality score.

RESULTS:

154 patients who encountered 170 episodes of serious events necessitating TA were evaluated across 76 studies. Among them, 51% were males, with a mean age ranging from 49 to 58 years. The CV types included 15 type I, 97 type II, and 13 type III, while the remaining patients exhibited mixed (n = 17) or undetermined CV types (n = 12). Among the treatment modalities, PE, PP, and CF were performed in 85 (56%), 52 (34%), and 17 patients (11%), respectively, with no identical protocol for TA treatment. The overall response rate for TA was 78%, with response rates of 84%, 77%, and 75% observed in type I, II, and III patients respectively. Most patients received steroids, immunosuppressants, and treatment targeting the underlying causative disease. The overall long-term renal outcome rate was 77%, with type I, II, and III patients experiencing response rates of 89%, 76%, and 90%, respectively. The renal outcomes in patients receiving PE, PP, and CF were comparable, with rates of 78%, 76%, and 81%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study presents compelling evidence that combination of TA with other treatments, especially immunosuppressive therapy, is a successful strategy for effectively managing severe renal involvement in CV patients. Among the TA modalities studied, including PE, PP, and CF, all demonstrated efficacy, with PE being the most frequently employed approach.

Editor's Choice
  • Jayne D
  • Walsh M
  • Merkel PA
  • Peh CA
  • Szpirt W
  • et al.
Health Technol Assess. 2022 Sep;26(38):1-60 doi: 10.3310/PNXB5040.
POPULATION:

Patients with severe anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis, enrolled in the Plasma Exchange In VASculitis (PEXIVAS) trial in 95 hospitals in Europe, North America, Australia/New Zealand and Japan (n= 704).

INTERVENTION:

[Two-by-two factorial design] Adjunctive plasma exchange (n= 352). Reduced glucocorticoid dosing regimen (n= 353).

COMPARISON:

No plasma exchange (n= 352). Standard glucocorticoid dosing regimen (n= 351).

OUTCOME:

The primary outcome was a composite of all-cause mortality and end-stage renal disease at a common close-out when the last patient had completed 10 months in the trial. Ninety-nine patients died and 138 developed end-stage renal disease, with the primary end point occurring in 209 out of 704 (29.7%) patients: 100 out of 352 (28%) in the plasma exchange group and 109 out of 352 (31%) in the no plasma exchange group (adjusted hazard ratio 0.86; 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.65, 1.13]). In the per-protocol analysis for the non-inferiority glucocorticoid comparison, the primary end point occurred in 92 out of 330 (28%) patients in the reduced-dose group and 83 out of 325 (26%) patients in the standard-dose group (partial-adjusted risk difference 0.023; 95% CI [0.034, 0.08]). Serious infections in the first year occurred in 96 out of 353 (27%) patients in the reduced-dose group and in 116 out of 351 (33%) patients in the standard-dose group. The rate of serious infections at 1 year was lower in the reduced-dose group than in the standard-dose group (incidence rate ratio 0.69, 95% CI [0.52, 0.93]).

BACKGROUND:

Anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis is a multisystem, autoimmune disease that causes organ failure and death. Physical removal of pathogenic autoantibodies by plasma exchange is recommended for severe presentations, along with high-dose glucocorticoids, but glucocorticoid toxicity contributes to morbidity and mortality. The lack of a robust evidence base to guide the use of plasma exchange and glucocorticoid dosing contributes to variation in practice and suboptimal outcomes.

OBJECTIVES:

We aimed to determine the clinical efficacy of plasma exchange in addition to immunosuppressive therapy and glucocorticoids with respect to death and end-stage renal disease in patients with severe anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis. We also aimed to determine whether or not a reduced-dose glucocorticoid regimen was non-inferior to a standard-dose regimen with respect to death and end-stage renal disease.

DESIGN:

This was an international, multicentre, open-label, randomised controlled trial. Patients were randomised in a two-by-two factorial design to receive either adjunctive plasma exchange or no plasma exchange, and either a reduced or a standard glucocorticoid dosing regimen. All patients received immunosuppressive induction therapy with cyclophosphamide or rituximab.

SETTING:

Ninety-five hospitals in Europe, North America, Australia/New Zealand and Japan participated.

PARTICIPANTS:

Participants were aged ≥ 16 years with a diagnosis of granulomatosis with polyangiitis or microscopic polyangiitis, and either proteinase 3 anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody or myeloperoxidase anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody positivity, and a glomerular filtration rate of < 50 ml/minute/1.73 m2 or diffuse alveolar haemorrhage attributable to active anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis.

INTERVENTIONS:

Participants received seven sessions of plasma exchange within 14 days or no plasma exchange. Oral glucocorticoids commenced with prednisolone 1 mg/kg/day and were reduced over different lengths of time to 5 mg/kg/day, such that cumulative oral glucocorticoid exposure in the first 6 months was 50% lower in patients allocated to the reduced-dose regimen than in those allocated to the standard-dose regimen. All patients received the same glucocorticoid dosing from 6 to 12 months. Subsequent dosing was at the discretion of the treating physician.

PRIMARY OUTCOME:

The primary outcome was a composite of all-cause mortality and end-stage renal disease at a common close-out when the last patient had completed 10 months in the trial.

RESULTS:

The study recruited 704 patients from June 2010 to September 2016. Ninety-nine patients died and 138 developed end-stage renal disease, with the primary end point occurring in 209 out of 704 (29.7%) patients: 100 out of 352 (28%) in the plasma exchange group and 109 out of 352 (31%) in the no plasma exchange group (adjusted hazard ratio 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 1.13; p = 0.3). In the per-protocol analysis for the non-inferiority glucocorticoid comparison, the primary end point occurred in 92 out of 330 (28%) patients in the reduced-dose group and 83 out of 325 (26%) patients in the standard-dose group (partial-adjusted risk difference 0.023, 95% confidence interval 0.034 to 0.08; p = 0.5), thus meeting our non-inferiority hypothesis. Serious infections in the first year occurred in 96 out of 353 (27%) patients in the reduced-dose group and in 116 out of 351 (33%) patients in the standard-dose group. The rate of serious infections at 1 year was lower in the reduced-dose group than in the standard-dose group (incidence rate ratio 0.69, 95% confidence interval 0.52 to 0.93; p = 0.016).

CONCLUSIONS:

Plasma exchange did not prolong the time to death and/or end-stage renal disease in patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis with severe renal or pulmonary involvement. A reduced-dose glucocorticoid regimen was non-inferior to a standard-dose regimen and was associated with fewer serious infections.

FUTURE WORK:

A meta-analysis examining the effects of plasma exchange on kidney outcomes in anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis is planned. A health-economic analysis of data collected in this study to examine the impact of both plasma exchange and reduced glucocorticoid dosing is planned to address the utility of plasma exchange for reducing early end-stage renal disease rates. Blood and tissue samples collected in the study will be examined to identify predictors of response to plasma exchange in anti-neutrophil cytoplasm in antibody-associated vasculitis. The benefits associated with reduced glucocorticoid dosing will inform future studies of newer therapies to permit further reduction in glucocorticoid exposure. Data from this study will contribute to updated management recommendations for anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis.

LIMITATIONS:

This study had an open-label design which may have permitted observer bias; however, the nature of the end points, end-stage renal disease and death, would have minimised this risk. Despite being, to our knowledge, the largest ever trial in anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody-associated vasculitis, there was an insufficient sample size to assess clinically useful benefits on the separate components of the primary end-point: end-stage renal disease and death. Use of a fixed-dose plasma exchange regimen determined by consensus rather than data-driven dose ranging meant that some patients may have been underdosed, thus reducing the therapeutic impact. In particular, no biomarkers have been identified to help determine dosing in a particular patient, although this is one of the goals of the biomarker plan of this study.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

This trial is registered as ISRCTN07757494, EudraCT 2009-013220-24 and Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00987389.

FUNDING:

This project was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 26, No. 38. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.