The polymerase chain reaction in infectious and post-infectious arthritis. A review.
Louie JS. Liebling MR.
Division of Rheumatology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, USA.
Polymerase chain reaction and other DNA amplification techniques to identify elusive infections should prove to be an effective tool for the clinical and investigative rheumatologist. The capability to identify and characterize infectious organisms in fluids and tissue will enable early, specific, and potentially curative treatment. Similarly, the capability to exclude infection and differentiate postinfectious diseases will enable other therapies to control the inflammation. Understanding these molecular techniques will most certainly improve clinicians' effectiveness for diagnosis and care.
Hepatitis C-associated autoimmune disorders.
Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, USA.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been associated with multiple autoimmune manifestations. The immune response to HCV infection encompasses the development of autoantibodies, immune complex formation and deposition, and cryoglobulinemia complicated by vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, or neuropathy. HCV infection has been associated with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, RA, SLE, PM/DM, and thyroid disease. HCV-infected patients also have a high incidence of sicca symptoms with sialoadenitis, and reports of low-grade lymphoproliferative malignancies have emerged. Optimal treatment for HCV-related autoimmune disease remains to be determined, but patients seem to respond to immunosuppression with classic agents or interferon.