THOMAS ABEL, M.D.; BRIAN S. ANDREWS, M.D.; POLLEY H. CUNNINGHAM, M.D.; CAROLYN M. BRUNNER, M.D.; JOHN S. DAVIS IV, M.D.; DAVID A. HORWITZ, M.D.
A study of five patients with severe rheumatoid vasculitis treated with cyclophosphamide was undertaken to determine whether immune complexes were present in serum and if their levels correlated with disease activity and response to treatment. Circulating immune complexes were measured by various techniques including the Clq binding and Raji cell radioimmunoassays and determination of the presence of cryoglobulins. Elevated levels of circulating immune complexes, hypocomplementemia, and high titer rheumatoid factor were present during active vasculitis. Clinical and serologic remissions were induced in all patients on cyclophosphamide. In two patients in remission, a rise in rheumatoid factor titer and immune complex levels was associated with an exacerbation of vasculitis and resolved on increased cyclophosphamide dosage. The Clq binding assay and rheumatoid factor titer correlated best with clinical activity. Thus, circulating immune complexes appear to be involved in the immunopathogenesis of rheumatoid vasculitis, which can be successfully treated with cyclophosphamide.
ABEL T, ANDREWS BS, CUNNINGHAM PH, BRUNNER CM, DAVIS JS, HORWITZ DA. Rheumatoid Vasculitis: Effect of Cyclophosphamide on the Clinical Course and Levels of Circulating Immune Complexes. Ann Intern Med. ;93:407–413. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-93-3-407
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1980;93(3):407-413.
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