The Research Roundup provides an overview of the past week’s research from Mayo Medical Laboratories consultants, including featured abstracts and complete list of published studies and reviews.
Immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a chronic relapsing multi-organ fibro-inflammatory syndrome of presumed autoimmune etiology. It is characterized by increased serum levels of IgG subclass 4 (IgG4) and tissue infiltration by IgG4+ cells. Increased titers of autoantibodies against a spectrum of self-antigens and response to steroids have led to its characterization as an autoimmune disease. However, the pathognomonic antigens probably differ among manifestations, and different antigens or autoantibodies produce similar immune reactions in different organs. Little is known about the pathogenic effects, if any, of serum IgG4 or IgG4+ plasma cells in tissues. Despite several animal models of the disease, none truly recapitulates human IgG4-RD. Histologic analyses of tissues from patients with IgG4-RD reveal a dense lympho-plasmacytic infiltrate rich in IgG4+ plasma cells, storiform fibrosis, and obliterative phlebitis, although these features vary among organs. Typical presentation and imaging findings include mass-forming synchronous or metachronous lesions in almost any organ, but most commonly in the pancreas, bile duct, retroperitoneum, kidneys, lungs, salivary and lacrimal glands, orbit, and lymph nodes. In all organs, inflammation can be reduced by corticosteroids and drugs that deplete B cells such as rituximab. Patients with IgG4-RD have relapses that respond to primary therapy. Intense fibrosis accompanies the inflammatory response, leading to permanent organ damage and insufficiency. Death from IgG4-RD is rare. IgG4-RD is a multi-organ disease with predominant pancreatico-biliary involvement. Despite its relapsing-remitting course, patients have an excellent prognosis. The study was published in the Gastroenterology.