You are being asked to take part in this research study because you have been diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is a disease that can affect the lungs, skin and other organs of the body. Sarcoidosis also involves immune cells which fight bacteria. The purpose of this study is to see if using specific antibiotics will help these immune fighting cells get rid of bacterial proteins and how the antibiotics affect respiratory (breathing) function. The antibiotics used in this study are Levaquin, Ethambutol, Azithromycin, and either Rifampin or Rifabutin. You will by chance be assigned either these medicines or a placebo (an inactive substance).
The purpose of this study is to create and maintain a registry, which is a database (a searchable collection of information) about children, adolescents and young adults with pediatric onset of rheumatic diseases. This data may help in the evaluation of the safety and benefit of medications that are prescribed to patients who have rheumatic diseases.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) or scleroderma is an autoimmune disease in which a person?s own immune cells attack his/her skin and internal organs, including the joints, lungs, heart, intestinal tract, and kidneys. The effects on the lungs, including pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), are among the most serious complications of SSc. In general, PAH is defined as an increase in pressure in the pulmonary arteries (the main blood vessels that lead from the heart to the lungs). Treatments for PAH have focused on symptom management rather than curing the disease.
This study has been designed to look at a new approach to treating the cause of the disease, rather than the symptoms of the disease. Recent research suggests that SSc-PAH may be the result of an ?attack? by immune cells. This study will look at the effect of the drug rituximab on the immune system and the immune ?attack? on the lungs. Rituximab is an immunosuppressive drug that eliminates the B cells for a few months, and therefore may halt the B cell attack on the lungs thought to be associated with this disease.The recovery of your B cells will be closely monitored throughout the study by blood testing.