The Australian government had funded the National Primary Care Collaborative (NPCC) program with funding of $14.6 million over three years. One of the pilots project was the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Quality Improvement Program (AMQuIP).The study aims to optimize general practitioners (GPs) management of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip and knee by identifying gaps between their current practice and best practice. The Breakthrough Series Collaborative methodology with several Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles was employed. Participants comprises of 12 GPs/practices from two Victorian Divisions of general Practice (one rural, one metropolitan) with 10 patients per GP/practice. GPs/practices attended an orientation and three learning workshops and a videoconference. GPs/practices completed PDSA cycles between workshop and reported results at workshops. GPs/practices reported use of guidelines, change in patient management and change in practice management/systems. All recruited patients completed the SF-12v2 Health Survey and WOMAC OA Index Questionnaire twice. Follow up activities including focus groups and face-to-face interviews were held six months after the final workshop. All GPs/practices used the guidelines/key messages, introduced "new" management strategies to patients, and made positive changes to their practice management/systems. Patient reported positive changes and outcomes. By using a structured methodology and evidence-based guidelines/key messages; GPs can introduce new patient management strategies, and by identifying gaps in practice management systems, positive changes can be achieved.
OBJECTIVE: In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), morning stiffness is linked more to functional disability and pain than disease activity, as assessed by joint counts and markers of inflammation. As part of the Asia Pacific Morning Stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis Expert Panel, a group of eight rheumatologists met to formulate consensus points and develop recommendations for the assessment and management of morning stiffness in RA.
METHODS: On the basis of a systematic literature review and expert opinion, a panel of Asian rheumatologists formulated recommendations for the assessment and medical treatment of RA.
RESULTS: The panel agreed upon 10 consensus statements on morning stiffness, its assessment and treatment. Specifically, the panel recommended that morning stiffness, pain and impaired morning function should be routinely assessed in clinical practice. Although there are currently no validated tools for these parameters, they should be assessed as part of the patients' reported outcomes in RA. The panel also agreed on the benefits of low-dose glucocorticoids in RA, particularly for the improvement of morning stiffness.
CONCLUSIONS: These recommendations serve to guide rheumatologists and other stakeholders on the assessment and management of morning stiffness, and help implement the treat-to-target principle in the management of RA.
KEYWORDS: consensus recommendations; morning stiffness; rheumatoid arthritis
We performed a prospective study of all hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of Gout in Sarawak General hospital from 1st July 2011 to 1st July 2012. There were a total of 126 patients in our study of which 112 (88.9%) were males. The majority of our patients were from the indigenous populations (71.7%). They have a mean age of 60.0 ± 14.2 years. Most of our patients were overweight (68%) with comorbities of hypertension (78.6%), Chronic Kidney Failure (48.4%), Type II diabetes Mellitus (30.2%), dyslipidemia (27.8%) and Ischaemic heart disease (11.9%). Polyarticular gouty arthritis was the main presenting pattern during hospitalization (88.1%). The mean length of stay for our patients was 9.8 ± 6.0 days which was significantly longer than the mean length of stay for other patients without gout (p<0.05). Only 17 patients had gout on admission and the majority developed gout during hospitalizations. Our patients were admitted respectively for medical problems (45.4%), surgical problems (28.6%) and orthopaedic problems (9.2%). Colchicine (73.8%) and steroid (40.5%) were the main stays of treatment for our patients. Our hospitalized gout patients were complicated patients with multiple comorbidities.
Septic arthritis of the hip in children represents a serious disorder with unfavourable long-term sequelae. In neonates, a poor hip outcome is expected especially if the treatment was delayed. Late sequelae can lead to structural joint damage and instability, causing deformity and dislocations which ultimately may result in limb length discrepancy, early degenerative changes and limited range of motion. Surgery at the appropriate time can improve the hip condition and functional outcome. Previous classifications of post septic hip sequelae are useful guides for treatment, but did not discuss one particular group of patient. This group-septic hip dislocation with a preserved femoral head, has recently been described as a distinct entity. This report highlights an 11-year follow-up of a 2-year-old child who had a successful outcome following open reduction and varus derotation
osteotomy for a septic hip dislocation with a preserved femoral head.
Keywords: septic arthritis, hip dislocation, child, infection
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects approximately 1% of the world's population. There are a wide number of guidelines and recommendations available to support the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; however, the evidence used for these guidelines is predominantly based on studies in Caucasian subjects and may not be relevant for rheumatoid arthritis patients in the Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology established a Steering Committee in 2013 to address this issue.
Rheumatoid arthritis is the commonest inflammatory joint disease, affecting nearly 1% of the adult population worldwide. Early and accurate diagnosis and prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have become increasingly important. In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the relationships between hematological, biochemical, immunological and cytogenetic parameters in rheumatoid arthritis patients and healthy normal controls.
Acute infective sacro-iliitis is a rare condition. Though gonococcal arthritis is not uncommon, this organism does not appear to have been isolated from the sacro-iliac joint. The first proven case of gonococcal sacro-iliitis is reported here. Difficulties in correct diagnosis of infective sacro-iliitis are highlighted. Management of gonococcal sacro-iliitis is described. With the increase in number of gonococcal infections, a case can be made for routine culture of joint material N. Gonorrhoeae in cases of septic arthritis in patients at high risk.
Recent studies of rheumatoid arthritis worldwide suggest that prevalence of arthritis is higher in Europe and North America than in developing countries. Prevalence data for major arthritis disorders have been compiled in West for several decades, but figures from the third world are just emerging. A coordinated effort by WHO and ILAR (International League Against Rheumatism) has resulted in collecting data for countries like Philippines, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and rural South Africa but the information about prevalence of arthritis in India and Pakistan is scarce. Since both countries, i.e., India and Pakistan, share some ethnic identity, we reviewed published literature to examine the prevalence of arthritis in these countries. Medline and Pubmed were searched for suitable articles about arthritis from 1980 and onwards. Findings from these articles were reviewed and summarized. The prevalence, clinical features, and laboratory findings of rheumatoid arthritis are compiled for both India and Pakistan. Data collected from these two countries were compared with each other, and some of the characteristics of the disease were compared with Europe and North America. It is found to be quite similar to developed countries. Additionally, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is of different variety than reported in West. It is more of polyarticular onset type while in West pauciarticular predominates. Additionally, in systemic onset, JRA uveitis and ANA are common finding in developed countries; on the other hand, they are hardly seen in this region. Although the prevalence of arthritis in Pakistan and India is similar to Western countries, there are inherent differences (clinical features, laboratory findings) in the presentation of disease. The major strength of the study is that it is the first to pool reports to provide an estimate of the disease in the Indian subcontinent. Scarcity of data is one of the major limitations. This study helps to understand the pattern of disease in this part of country that can be stepping-stone for policy makers to draft policies that can affect target population more appropriately.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that can be associated with abnormal bone turnover and hence osteoporosis. Osteocalcin (OC) levels are increased in conditions with high bone turnover, including high RA disease activity. Thus, OC levels could possibly be used as a marker to assess bone health and disease activity in RA patients. As there have been no previous studies looking at serum OC levels in Malaysian RA patients, this study was performed to examine possible correlations between OC, bone mineral density (BMD) and disease activity in this population. A cross-sectional study of 75 female RA patients and 29 healthy controls was performed. Serum OC was measured using a Quantikine® ELISA kit. Dualenergy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to assess BMD. Serum OC levels were not significantly different between RA patients (median 14.44 ng/mL, interquartile range [IQR 12.99]) compared to healthy controls (median 11.04 ng/mL IQR 12.29) (p=0.198). Serum OC increased with age (Spearman’s rho r=0.230, p=0.047). There was no significant correlation between serum OC and body mass index (BMI), menopause status, BMD, DAS28, swollen or tender joint counts. Overall, there were 11 (14.7%) patients with osteoporosis and 27 (36.0%) with osteopenia. Menopause status was significantly associated with BMD at all sites (lumbar spine p=0.002, femoral neck p=0.004, total hip p=0.002). Serum OC were similar in RA patients compared to healthy controls. In RA patients, serum OC did not correlate with RA disease activity or BMD. Menopause status remains an important influence on BMD. Thus, measuring serum OC levels in Malaysian RA patients was not useful in identifying those at risk of low BMD.
Study site: Rheumatology clinic, Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, and Klinik Pakar Puchong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Forty-one patients with 42 joint infections were admitted to the hospital between June 1989 and June 1994. An overview on the behaviour of septic arthritis in both children and adults, at presentation and after various types of treatment was done. There were 32 knees, 7 hips, 2 elbows and 1 shoulder. Duration of symptoms, type of organism, type of joint drainage, presence of preexisting joint problems and presence of osteomyelitis are among the important factors with prognostic significance. Seventy three percent of patients with less than 7 days duration of symptoms had satisfactory results. Whereas when the duration of symptoms exceeded 7 days, 75% of the patients had unsatisfactory outcome. All cases with poor outcome had positive cultures. Staphylococcus aureus was responsible for 77% of the culture-positive cases. All Staphylococcus aureus in this study were penicillin-resistant but sensitive to cloxacillin. There were 3 instances where Staphylococcus became resistant to cloxacillin following recurrence of septic arthritis. However, they were still sensitive to third generation cephalosporin. Staphylococcus aureus was capable of producing poor results even when the case was treated early. Other organisms were gram-negative bacilli which infect patients with suppressed immune system, that is, intravenous drug abuser, systemic steroid therapy and diabetes mellitus. Open arthrotomy was the method of drainage used in all hip sepsis. This method was also the most reliable method of joint drainage in other joints compared to aspiration method when frank pus was already present. Most immuno-compromised patients recovered badly from septic arthritis. Associated adjacent osteomyelitis, preexisting chronic arthritis and recent intra-articular fractures were also noted to adversely affect the functional outcome.
This paper summarises our experience of twenty one patients with degenerative arthritis treated by bilateral simultaneous total knee replacement (BSTKR) in Tawakal Hospital in a period of twenty two months vis. January 1994 to November 1995. The results were analysed according to the scoring system of Hospital for Special Surgery. The preliminary observations were encouraging, 90% excellent, 8% good and 2% fair results. The benefits, safety and cost effectiveness of the procedure as compared to the unilateral staged knee replacement are discussed. We recommend that BSTKR be routinely practised for appropriate situations in all institutions where the expertise and facilities are available.
Kinins are potent mediators of rheumatoid inflammation. The components of the kinin-forming system are hyperactive in RA. Excessive release of kinins in the synovial fluid can produce oedema, pain and loss of functions due to activation of B1 and B2 receptors. These receptors could be stimulated via injury, trauma, coagulation pathways (Hageman factor and thrombin) and immune complexes. The activated B1 and B2 receptors might cause release of other powerful non-cytokines and cytokines mediators of inflammation, for example, PGE2, PGI2, LTs, histamine, PAF, IL-1 and TNF derived mainly from polymorphonuclear leukocytes, macrophages, endothelial cells and synovial tissue. These mediators are capable of inducing bone and cartilage damage, hypertrophic synovitis, vessels proliferation, inflammatory cells migration, and possibly angiogenesis in pannus formation. These pathological changes, however, are not yet defined in human model of chronic inflammation (RA). Hence, the role of kinin and its interacting inflammatory mediators would soon start to clarify the detailed questions they revealed in clinical and experimental models of chronic inflammatory joint diseases. Several B1 and B2 receptor antagonists are being synthesized in an attempt to study the molecular functions of kinins in inflammatory processes (RA, periodontitis and osteomyelitis), and they represent and important area for continued research in rheumatology. Future development of specific, potent and stable B1 and B2 receptor antagonists or combined B1 and B2 antagonists with y-IFN might serve as pharmacological basis of more effective rationally-based therapies for RA. This may lead to significant advances in our knowledge of the mechanisms and therapeutics of rheumatic diseases.
Spondyloarthropathy (SpA) is a group of inflammatory conditions that include spondylitis, sacroiliitis, asymmetrical peripheral arthritis and enthesitis. This condition is known as juvenile SpA when the diagnosis is made in patients up to 16 years of age. Enthesitis is a highly specific feature that occurs more often in juvenile SpA than in the adult form. In contrast to adult onset SpA, the initial manifestation of juvenile SpA rarely presents as inflammatory back pain. Peripheral arthritis is the more common presenting feature. We report a case of a 12-year-old boy who presented with a 1-year history of progressive low back pain, gluteal pain and thigh pain. There were no clinical symptoms of arthropathy of the distal extremities. MRI of the whole spine was performed twice, which, unfortunately, was unyielding. Finally, MRI of the sacroiliac joints revealed asymmetric sacroiliitis as well as enthesitis of the hips and pelvis. Further laboratory data showed negative rheumatoid factor and positive human leucocyte antigen (HLA) B27. A diagnosis of juvenile SpA with sacroiliitis and enthesitis was made. The imaging characteristics of juvenile SpA are highlighted.