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Francesco Ursini - Top 30 Publications

Brain metabolic correlates of CSF Tau protein in a large cohort of Alzheimer's disease patients: a CSF and FDG PET study.

physiopathological mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are still matter of debate. Especially the role of amyloid β and tau pathology in the development of the disease are still matter of debate. Changes in tau and amyloid β peptide concentration in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and hypometabolic patterns at fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) PET scanning are considered as biomarkers of AD. The present study was aimed to evaluate the relationships between the concentrations of CSF total Tau (t-Tau), phosphorilated Tau (p-Tau) and Aβ1-42 amyloid peptide with (18)F-FDG brain distribution in a group of patients with AD.

Biologic drugs in adult onset Still's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.

Biological drugs, mainly interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 antagonists, but also tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, have been used in the treatment of adult onset Still's disease patients (AOSD).

Prevalence of type 2 diabetes and impaired fasting glucose in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis: Results from a cross-sectional study.

Although the better management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has significantly improved the long-term outcome of affected patients, a significant proportion of these may develop associated comorbidities including cardiometabolic complications. However, it must be pointed out that a comprehensive cardiometabolic evaluation is still poorly integrated into the management of RA patients, due to a limited awareness of the problem, a lack of appropriate clinical studies, and optimal strategies for cardiovascular (CV) risk reduction in RA. In addition, although several studies investigated the possible association between traditional CV risk factors and RA, conflicting results are still available.On this basis, we planned this cross-sectional study, aimed at investigating the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in RA patients compared with age- and gender- matched control individuals. Furthermore, we analyzed the role of both traditional and RA-related CV risk factors in predicting T2D and IFG.We observed an increased prevalence of T2D in RA patients when compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Regression analyses demonstrated that the presence of high blood pressure (HBP), a longer disease duration, and exposure to corticosteroids (CCS) were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of being classified as T2D. In addition, we observed an increased prevalence of IFG in RA patients when compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Regression analyses demonstrated that a higher body mass index (BMI), the presence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), higher levels of total cholesterol, the presence of radiographic damage, and higher serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of presenting IFG.In this cross-sectional study, we observed an increased prevalence of T2D and IFG in an Italian cohort of RA patients when compared with age- and gender-matched control individuals. Interestingly, both RA-specific features, such as disease duration, CCS exposure, and radiographic damage, and traditional CV risk factors, such as HBP and MetS, were significantly associated with glucose metabolism abnormalities.

Complement C3 and fatty liver disease in Rheumatoid arthritis patients: a cross-sectional study.

Recent evidence suggested a potential role of complement fraction C3 as a biomarker of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the general population. Aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of C3 for prediction of NAFLD in RA patients.

Functional correlates of TSH, fT3 and fT4 in Alzheimer disease: a F-18 FDG PET/CT study.

The present study was aimed to investigate the relationships between thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), freeT3 (fT3) and freeT4 (fT4) and brain glucose consumption as detectable by means of 2-deoxy-2-(F-18) fluoro-D-glucose (F-18 FDG) Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) in a selected population with Alzheimer disease (AD). We evaluated 87 subjects (37 males and 50 females, mean age 70 (±6) years old) with AD. All of them were subjected to TSH, fT3 and fT4 assay and to cerebrospinal fluid amyloid (Aβ1-42) and tau [phosphorylated-tau (p-tau) and total-tau (t-tau)] assay prior PET/CT examination. Values for TSH, fT3 and fT4 were in the normal range. The relationships were evaluated by means of statistical parametric mapping (SPM8) using age, sex, MMSE, scholarship and CSF values of amyloid and tau as covariates. We found a significant positive correlation between TSH values and cortical glucose consumption in a wide portion of the anterior cingulate cortex bilaterally (BA32) and left frontal lobe (BA25) (p FWE-corr <0.001; p FDRcorr <0.000; cluster extent 66950). No significant relationships were found between cortical F-18 FDG uptake and T3 and T4 serum levels. The results of our study suggest that a cortical dysfunction in anterior cingulate and frontal lobes may affect serum values of TSH in AD patients.

Anti-TNF-alpha agents and endothelial function in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been associated with endothelial dysfunction, a pathophysiological feature of atherosclerosis. Our aim was to determine whether TNF-α blockade has a beneficial effect on endothelial function in RA. We performed a systematic review with meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of anti-TNF-α agents on endothelial function in RA patients. MedLine, Cochrane CENTRAL and SCOPUS were searched up to March 2016. Inclusion criteria were: 1) randomised controlled trial (RCT), quasi-RCT, before-after cohort study; 2) including RA patients; 3) treatment with anti-TNF-α medications; 4) evaluating the change from baseline in endothelial function. The search strategy retrieved 180 records, of which 20 studies were included in the systematic review. Pooled analysis using a random-effects model demonstrated a significant improvement in endothelial function following anti-TNF-α treatment (SDM 0.987, 95%CI [0.64-1.33], p < 0.0001). Generalisation of the results of the meta-analysis may be limited due to the presence of heterogeneity (I2 = 82.65%, p < 0.001) and evidence of possible publication bias. Meta-regression showed that endothelial function measurement technique was a significant contributor to heterogeneity. In conclusion, although limited by the methodological quality of the included studies, our meta-analysis suggests that anti-TNF-α treatment may improve endothelial function in RA patients.

International consensus: What else can we do to improve diagnosis and therapeutic strategies in patients affected by autoimmune rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritides, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, antiphospholipid syndrome and Sjogren's syndrome)?: The unmet needs and the clinical grey zone in autoimmune disease management.

Autoimmune diseases are a complex set of diseases characterized by immune system activation and, although many progresses have been done in the last 15years, several unmet needs in the management of these patients may be still identified. Recently, a panel of international Experts, divided in different working groups according to their clinical and scientific expertise, were asked to identify, debate and formulate a list of key unmet needs within the field of rheumatology, serving as a roadmap for research as well as support for clinicians. After a systematic review of the literature, the results and the discussions from each working group were summarised in different statements. Due to the differences among the diseases and their heterogeneity, a large number of statements was produced and voted by the Experts to reach a consensus in a plenary session. At all the steps of this process, including the initial discussions by the steering committee, the identification of the unmet needs, the expansion of the working group and finally the development of statements, a large agreement was attained. This work confirmed that several unmet needs may be identified and despite the development of new therapeutic strategies as well as a better understanding of the effects of existing therapies, many open questions still remain in this field, suggesting a research agenda for the future and specific clinical suggestions which may allow physicians to better manage those clinical conditions still lacking of scientific clarity.

Poor clinical response in rheumatoid arthritis is the main risk factor for diabetes development in the short-term: A 1-year, single-centre, longitudinal study.

Despite of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) provided different sets of recommendations for the management of cardiovascular risk in inflammatory arthritis patients, it must be pointed out that cardiometabolic comorbidity, such as type 2 diabetes (T2D), remains still underdiagnosed and undertreated in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Vitamin D deficiency in systemic sclerosis: a possible role of subclinical liver fibrosis? Retrospective analysis from an Italian cohort.

Role of positron emission tomography for central nervous system involvement in systemic autoimmune diseases: status and perspectives.

In the last years, an increasing interest in molecular imaging has been raised by the extending potential of positron emission tomography (PET). The role of PET imaging, originally confined to the oncology setting, is continuously extending thanks to the development of novel radiopharmaceutical and to the implementation of hybrid imaging techniques, where PET scans are combined with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) in order to improve spatial resolution. Early preclinical studies suggested that 18F-FDG PET can detect neuroinflammation; new developing radiopharmaceuticals targeting more specifically inflammation-related molecules are moving in this direction. Neurological involvement is a distinct feature of various systemic autoimmune diseases, i.e. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or Behcet's disease(BD). Although MRI is largely considered the gold-standard imaging technique for the detection of Central Nervous System(CNS) involvement in these disorders, several patients complain of neuropsychiatric symptoms (headache, epilepsy, anxiety or depression) in the absence of any significant MRI finding; in such patients the diagnosis relies mainly on clinical examination and often the contribute of the disease process versus iatrogenic or reactive forms is doubtful. Aim of this review is to explore the state-of-the-art for a role of PET imaging in CNS involvement in systemic rheumatic diseases. In addition, we will explore the potential role of emerging radiopharmaceutical and their possible application in aiding the diagnosis of CNS involvement in systemic autoimmune diseases.

Plantar fascia enthesopathy is highly prevalent in diabetic patients without peripheral neuropathy and correlates with retinopathy and impaired kidney function.

Aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of plantar fascia (PF) enthesopathy in Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients without distal peripheral neuropathy (DPN).

Old But Good: Modified-Release Prednisone in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Since more than 50 years glucocorticoids represent the milestone in the treatment of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, many patients with RA present a circadian rhythm in symptoms severity with a significant worsening in the morning, that correlates with cyclic changes in circulating hormones and cytokines. Classical steroid therapy given in the morning fails to intercept this pathophysiological phenomenon. In the last years, a novel formulation of prednisone has been developed in order to better fit these variations, improve efficacy and minimize adverse events (chronotherapy). This modified-release (MR) prednisone is administered in the evening at 10.00 p.m. and absorbed after about 4 hours.

Serum complement C3 strongly correlates with whole-body insulin sensitivity in rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by an excess of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk, attributable to a synergy between under-diagnosed traditional risk factors (i.e. insulin resistance) and inflammatory disease activity. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the correlation between inflammatory measures and insulin sensitivity in RA patients.

High Prevalence of Achilles Tendon Enthesopathic Changes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Without Peripheral Neuropathy.

Metabolic disorders are known to alter the mechanical properties of tendons. We sought to evaluate the prevalence of asymptomatic Achilles tendon enthesopathic changes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) without peripheral neuropathy.

Monitoring safety and use of old and new treatment options for type 2 diabetic patients: a two-year (2013-2016) analysis.

To compare patients' and physicians' perceptions regarding effectiveness and tolerability of non-insulin hypoglycemic drugs in a cohort of type 2 diabetic patients; to verify whether a possible tridimensional link between effectiveness, tolerability, and adherence affects long-term therapeutic outcomes.

Complement C3 Is the Strongest Predictor of Whole-Body Insulin Sensitivity in Psoriatic Arthritis.

To evaluate the correlation between inflammatory measures and whole-body insulin sensitivity in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients.

Is cerebral glucose metabolism related to blood-brain barrier dysfunction and intrathecal IgG synthesis in Alzheimer disease?: A 18F-FDG PET/CT study.

The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction, intrathecal IgG synthesis, and brain glucose consumption as detectable by means of serum/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) albumin index (Qalb) and IgG index [(CSF IgG/serum IgG) × Serum albumin/CSF albumin)] and 2-deoxy-2-(F) fluoro-D-glucose (F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) in a selected population affected by Alzheimer disease (AD). The study included 134 newly diagnosed AD patients according to the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria. The mean (±SD) age of the patients was 70 (±6) years; 60 were male and 64 were female. Mini mental State Examination was equal to 18.9 (±7.2). All patients underwent a CSF assay and magnetic resonance before F-FDG PET scanning. The relationships were evaluated by means of statistical parametric mapping (SPM8). We found a significant negative correlation between the increase of Qalb and F-FDG uptake in the Brodmann Area 42 and 22 that corresponds to the left superior temporal gyrus, with higher Qalb values being related to a reduced glucose consumption in these areas. No significant relationships have been found between brain glucose consumption and IgG index. The results of our study suggest that BBB dysfunction is related to reduction of cortical activity in the left temporal cortex in AD subjects.

Retrospective analysis of type 2 diabetes prevalence in a systemic sclerosis cohort from southern Italy: Comment on "Reduced incidence of Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes in systemic sclerosis: A nationwide cohort study" by Tseng et al., Joint Bone Spine 2016;83:307-13.

Oral Metformin Ameliorates Bleomycin-Induced Skin Fibrosis.

Prevalence of Undiagnosed Diabetes in Rheumatoid Arthritis: an OGTT Study.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by an excess of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, estimated to be at least 50% greater when compared to the general population. Although the widespread diffusion of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) awareness, there is still a significant proportion of patients with T2DM that remain undiagnosed. Aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes in RA patients. For the present study, 100 consecutive nondiabetic RA patients were recruited. Age- and sex-matched subjects with noninflammatory diseases (osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia) were used as controls. After overnight fasting, blood samples were obtained for laboratory evaluation including serum glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF), and anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies (ACPA). A standard Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) with 75 g of glucose was performed and blood samples were collected at time 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes, for measurement of plasma glucose concentrations. The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) (9/100 vs 12/100, P = 0.49), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) (19/100 vs 12/100, P = 0.17), and concomitant IFG/IGT (5/100 vs 9/100, P = 0.27) was similar between groups, whereas the prevalence of diabetes was significantly higher in RA patients (10/100 vs 2/100, P = 0.02). In a logistic regression analysis, increasing age (OR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.028-1.245, P = 0.01) and disease duration (OR = 1.90, 95% CI 1.210-2.995, P = 0.005) were both associated with an increased likelihood of being classified as prediabetes (i.e. IFG and/or IGT) or T2DM. A ROC curve was built to evaluate the predictivity of disease duration on the likelihood of being diagnosed with T2DM. The area under the ROC curve was 0.67 (95% CI: 0.56-0.78, P = 0.004). We identified the best cut-off of 33 months that yielded a sensitivity of 61% and a specificity of 70% for classification of T2DM patients. According to our data, RA seems to be characterized by an elevated prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes, especially in patients with longer disease duration.

Correlation between elastosonography and nailfold microvascular alterations in systemic sclerosis patients.

Vascular damage and fibrotic process represent the pathophysiological hallmarks of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Peripheral microangiopathy can be early detected by nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC), whereas recent studies suggest that ultrasound real time elastosonography (US-RTE) can be a useful tool to evaluate the reduction of skin elasticity. The aim of our study was to investigate possible correlations between NVC microvascular alterations and finger tissue stiffness evaluated with US-RTE in SSc subjects.

Abatacept improves whole-body insulin sensitivity in rheumatoid arthritis: an observational study.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by increased insulin resistance, a well-known risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of abatacept on insulin sensitivity in RA patients with moderate to severe disease despite treatment with methotrexate. Fifteen RA patients were recruited for the present study. Patients were evaluated at time 0 and after 6 months of the treatment with i.v. abatacept at the dosage recommended for weight range. Evaluation included oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at both time points. Insulin sensitivity was estimated with insulin sensitivity index (ISI) by Matsuda, a measure of whole-body insulin sensitivity. ISI significantly increased after the treatment with abatacept from 3.7 ± 2.6 to 5.0 ± 3.2 (P = 0.003) with a mean difference of 1.23. Analysis of glucose and insulin values during OGTT revealed a reduction of both glucose (303.9 ± 73.4 mg/dL min versus 269.2 ± 69.5 mg/dL min, P = 0.009) and insulin (208.4 ± 119.7 mg/dL min versus 158.0 ± 95.3 mg/dL min, P = 0.01) area under the curves (AUCs). Accordingly also glycated hemoglobin significantly improved (5.5 ± 0.4% versus 5.3 ± 0.3%, P = 0.04). No significant differences were found for measures of β-cell function insulinogenic index (1.11 ± 1.19 versus 1.32 ± 0.82, P = 0.77) and oral disposition index (2.0 ± 5.4 versus 6.0 ± 6.0, P = 0.25). Treatment with abatacept seems to be able to improve whole-body insulin sensitivity in RA patients without affecting β-cell function.

Lymphocutaneous Sporotrichosis during Treatment with Anti-TNF-Alpha Monotherapy.

Sporotrichosis is an infectious disease caused by Sporothrix schenckii, a dimorphic fungus isolated for the first time in 1896 by Benjamin Schenck from a 36-year-old male patient presenting lesions on the right hand and arm. The infection generally occurs by traumatic inoculation of soil, plants, and organic matter contaminated with the fungus. Different clinical syndromes are described as a direct consequence of S. schenckii infection, including lymphocutaneous and disseminated forms, although extracutaneous presentations are reported most frequently in AIDS patients. Here we describe the case of a 57-year-old Caucasian male diagnosed in 2004 with ankylosing spondylitis under stable treatment with adalimumab monotherapy (40 mg every other week). During a routine follow-up visit in March 2013, he presented with multiple nodular lesions arranged in a linear fashion along the left hand and forearm. After diagnostic aspiration of the lesions, lymphocutaneous sporotrichosis was diagnosed and appropriate therapy started.

Abatacept in psoriatic arthritis: Case report and short review.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting about 6-10% of patients with cutaneous psoriasis. According to current knowledge, activated T-cells seem to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of both psoriasis and PsA. Abatacept is a novel biologic agent selectively designed to interfere with T-cells co-stimulation. Structurally, it is a soluble, fully human fusion protein consisting of the extracellular domain of CTLA-4 (Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4) linked to a modified Fc portion of human IgG1. Abatacept is now approved as a first-line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but preliminary data disclose a potential role of abatacept in the treatment of other autoimmune diseases. In this article, we report a case of successful treatment with abatacept of a psoriatic arthritis patients who developed adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to medication commonly used in PsA, including three different anti-TNF-α agents. In addition, we review the scientific evidences supporting a possible role of abatacept in treatment of patients with psoriasis and PsA and the paradox of abatacept-induced psoriasis.

Serum complement C3 correlates with insulin resistance in never treated psoriatic arthritis patients.

The objective of this cross-sectional study is to investigate the relationship between inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), white blood cell (WBC) count, and complement C3) and insulin resistance (estimated with the surrogate measure homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)) in Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients. Sixty-seven patients with PsA and 138 age- and sex-matched controls were recruited from the Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic of the University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro (Italy). Plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were measured after at least 12-h fasting. CRP was measured by a high-sensitivity turbidimetric immunoassay. ESR was measured by capillary photometry. Serum C3 and C4 were measured by nephelometry. Insulin resistance was estimated using the original HOMA as reported by Matthews et al. (Diabetologia 28(7):412-419, 1985) from overnight fasting insulin and glucose values, with the following formula: HOMA-IR = glucose (in milligrams per deciliter) × insulin (in micro units per milliliter)/405. Patients and controls had similar body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and fasting glucose, but fasting serum insulin was higher in PsA patients (median (interquartile range (IQR)) 12.96 (6.35-24.65) for PsA and 10.37 (6.97-15.11) for controls; p = 0.005). Consequently, also the surrogate measure of insulin resistance HOMA-IR was significantly higher in patients (median (IQR) 3.77 (1.58-5.18) for PsA and 2.33 (1.67-3.62) for controls; p = 0.008). In univariate analysis, ln(HOMA-IR) correlated positively with BMI, systolic blood pressure (sBP), dBP, ln(TG), WBC, ln(ESR), ln(CRP) and C3, while correlated negatively with total and HDL cholesterol. In multiple linear regression analysis including age, sex and BMI, serum C3 reached the higher standardized β coefficient, while among other variables only ln(ESR) maintained a weak correlation with ln(HOMA-IR) when sBP was added to the model. When all variables were inserted in a single model, only C3 was independently correlated with ln(HOMA-IR). In a stepwise multiple regression model, serum C3 was selected as the strongest single contributing variable. The model explained 61 % of the variance in ln(HOMA-IR) (R (2) = 0.61). Insulin resistance, estimated with the surrogate measure HOMA-IR, is higher in PsA patients compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Serum C3 could represent a simple marker of insulin resistance in psoriatic arthritis patients.

Interactions among Low Dose of Methotrexate and Drugs Used in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Methotrexate (MTX) is a nonbiological disease-modifying antirheumatic drug that has shown both a good control of clinical disease and a good safety. Usually drug-drug interactions (DDIs) represent the most limiting factor during the clinical management of any disease, in particular when several drugs are coadministered to treat the same disease. In this paper, we report the interactions among MTX and the other drugs commonly used in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Using Medline, PubMed, Embase, Cochrane libraries, and Reference lists, we searched for the articles published until June 30, 2012, and we reported the most common DDIs between MTX and antirheumatic drugs. In particular, clinically relevant DDIs have been described during the treatment with MTX and NSAIDs, for example, diclofenac, indomethacin, or COX-2 inhibitors, and between MTX and prednisone or immunosuppressant drugs (e.g., leflunomide and cyclosporine). Finally, an increase in the risk of infections has been recorded during the combination treatment with MTX plus antitumor necrosis factor- α agents. In conclusion, during the treatment with MTX, DDIs play an important role in both the development of ADRs and therapeutic failure.

Improvement in insulin resistance after short-term treatment with abatacept: case report and short review.

Insulin resistance, a key feature of type 2 diabetes, is an independent risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and represents the core of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Actually, an intriguing correlation between MetS and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is largely accepted but not yet completely clarified in detail. Recently, the therapeutic arsenal against RA has been enriched of abatacept, a fusion protein (CTLA4 immunoglobulin) designed to modulate the T cell co-stimulatory signal mediated through the CD28-CD80/86 pathway. Here, we report a case of dramatic improvement in insulin resistance, estimated with the surrogate measure HOMA-IR, after treatment with abatacept. Lastly, we shortly review the preclinical evidences supporting a possible role of T lymphocytes in rheumatoid arthritis-associated insulin resistance and how abatacept could improve glucose metabolism by suppressing adipose tissue infiltrating cells.

Fibromyalgia and obesity: the hidden link.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder of uncertain etiology, characterized by widespread pain, muscle tenderness, and decreased pain threshold to pressure and other stimuli. Obesity is a well-known aggravating factor for certain rheumatologic conditions, such as knee osteoarthritis. Emerging evidences are exploring the link between obesity and other rheumatic diseases, such as fibromyalgia. Epidemiological data show that fibromyalgia patients have higher prevalence of obesity (40%) and overweight (30%) in multiple studies compared with healthy patients. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain "the hidden link", but at this time is not possible to ascertain whether obesity is cause or consequence of fibromyalgia. Among mechanisms proposed, there are the following: impaired physical activity, cognitive and sleep disturbances, psychiatric comorbidity and depression, dysfunction of thyroid gland, dysfunction of the GH/IGF-1 axis, impairment of the endogenous opioid system. In this article, we review the scientific evidence supporting a possible link between obesity and fibromyalgia, how obesity influences fibromyalgia symptoms and how fibromyalgia severity can be improved by weight loss. In addition, we analyze the possible mechanisms by which fibromyalgia and obesity interrelate.

Kaposi's sarcoma in a psoriatic arthritis patient treated with infliximab.

CD4+ T-cells lymphocytosis and reduction of neutrophils during treatment with adalimumab: Challenge and dechallenge study.