Scientific corner

The efficacy of intensive granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis in a patient with Crohn’s disease complicated by extensive subcutaneous aseptic neutrophilic abscesses.

Shingo Kato 1Eriko HosomiFumi AmanoTaisuke KobayashiKazuhito KaniRyuichi YamamotoTomonari OgawaAkihiko MatsudaYoshiki SatoSeiichi IzakiTetsuya MitaraiKoji Yakabi, J Crohns Colitis. 2012 Aug;6(7):787-91.

Background and aims: Subcutaneous aseptic abscess is one phenotype of neutrophilic dermatitis. We were interested to see if a case of steroid refractory Crohn’s disease (CD) complicated by subcutaneous aseptic neutrophilic abscesses responds to intensive granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA). Methods: The patient was a 21-year-old male with worsening severe CD while on oral prednisolone (30 mg/day). His symptoms included fever, bloody diarrhoea and multiple painful subcutaneous nodules throughout his body. Skin biopsy showed chronic panniculitis with neutrophilic infiltrates. Further, colonoscopy showed oedematous sigmoid colon, while colonic biopsy showed non-caseous granuloma. Because biologics were feared to increase the risk of bacteraemia as the result of germ culture on his pus was not known at the time, we decided to treat this case with GMA. Five GMA sessions with the Adacolumn over 5 consecutive days (daily GMA) were initiated. Results: On admission, his CD activity index (CDAI) was 355, C-reactive protein (CRP) 11.2 mg/dL. After 5 GMA sessions, CDAI decreased to 170, and CRP fell to 5.0 mg/dL, with no fever. GMA was restarted at 2 sessions/week (total 10 sessions). The patient’s CDAI fell to <150, and the skin lesions re-epithelialized. Conclusions: In this CD case complicated by subcutaneous aseptic neutrophilic abscesses, GMA appeared to be effective. Our impression is that when biopsy reveals neutrophil infiltrate is a major feature of the lesions, GMA should be considered. As GMA appears to have no safety concerns, a frequent GMA protocol, like daily followed by 2 to 3 times/week should be preferred over the routine weekly GMA.

Scientific corner

Adsorptive Depletion of α4 Integrinhi- and CX3CR1hi-Expressing Proinflammatory Monocytes in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis

Shin-ichiro TakedaToru SatoTatsuro KatsunoTomoo NakagawaYoshiko NoguchiOsamu Yokosuka & Yasushi Saito

Dig Dis Sci 55, 1886–1895 (2010).

Background:  Two main functionally distinct monocytes phenotypes are known: the CD14hiCD16− “classical” and the CD14+CD16+ “proinflammatory” phenotypes. The latter phenotype is elevated in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and is suspected to have a major role in the immunopathogenesis of UC. Aim: To selectively deplete circulating proinflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocyte phenotype. Methods: Seven corticosteroid-naïve patients with UC (clinical activity index = 8.7 ± 1.3) and seven healthy subjects were included. In patients with UC, granulocyte/monocyte adsorption (GMA) was done with an Adacolumn that selectively adsorbs leucocytes of the myeloid lineage. Blood from all subjects at baseline and from the patients immediately after the first GMA session was processed. Isolated monocytes were subjected to fluorescence-activated cell sorter analyses. Results: The seven UC patients achieved remission (CAI ≤4) after 5–10 GMA sessions. GMA induced a strong fall in the ratio (%) of CD14+CD16+ to CD14hiCD16− monocytes, from 10.0 ± 1.4 to 3.0 ± 0.9. Further, expressions of α4 integrin (374.8 ± 26.1 mean fluorescence intensity, MFI) and CX3CR1 (49.5 ± 4.6 MFI) were significantly high on CD14+CD16+monocytes as compared with on CD14hiCD16− monocytes (169.2 ± 17.2 and 33.2 ± 3.6 MFI, respectively). Additionally, GMA significantly increased the ratio of the CD14hiCD16−CCR2low “immature” monocytes from 3.74 ± 0.62 to 8.11 ± 0.56 MFI. Conclusions: We found high expressions of α4 integrin and CX3CR1 on monocytes in patients with active UC, known to promote the extravasation of CD14+CD16+ monocytes into the mucosa. GMA effectively depletes CD14+CD16+ monocytes and concomitantly increases D14hiCD16CCR2low “immature” monocytes; thus, GMA was associated with the emergence of less inflammatory monocyte phenotype in circulation.

Scientific corner

A role for granulocyte and monocyte apheresis in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

N Kashiwagi 1I HirataR Kasukawa

Ther Apher. 1998 May;2(2):134-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-9987.1998.tb00091.x.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory condition, the etiology of which is not well understood. Recent reports indicate a major role of granulocytes in the pathogenesis of RA; arthritic joints are infiltrated with phagocytic leukocytes, granulocytes, and monocytes/macrophages, and it is believed that these cells, by releasing degradative proteinases, cytokines, and reactive oxygen species, contribute to joint destruction. Hence, the apheresis of granulocytes and monocytes may benefit patients with RA. Granulocyte and monocyte apheresis was carried out in 143 patients with RA using an apheresis column (G-1) packed with 220 g cellulose acetate beads, which selectively adsorb granulocytes and monocytes. Patients received 1 or 2 apheresis sessions, each of 1 h duration per week over a 4 week period at a flow rate of 30 ml/min. Apheresis significantly reduced swollen and tender joint counts and the duration of morning stiffness, and it increased grip strength, together with suppression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1beta production by peripheral blood monocytes. It is concluded that this alternative treatment induces a kind of immunomodulation.

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