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Last Name

profileYvonne Claire Lee, M.D.

TitleAssistant Professor of Medicine
InstitutionBrigham and Women's Hospital
AddressBrigham and Womens Hospital
75 Francis St
Boston MA 02115
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My research focuses on the inflammatory and non-inflammatory components of pain in the rheumatic diseases. Pain is the most common reason patients seek rheumatologic care. However, little is known about the mechanisms of pain in rheumatic diseases, and the best ways to treat pain are still unknown.

To examine the components of pain among patients with rheumatic disease, we supplement data from validated instruments of clinical pain severity with quantitative sensory testing methods to assess experimental pain sensitivity. Using different testing paradigms, we are able to examine the contributions of peripheral mechanisms (e.g., inflammation and damage at joint sites) and central mechanisms (e.g., modulation of pain by the brain and spinal cord) to overall pain sensitivity.

Current research activities include a study to examine differences in central pain processing among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients compared to healthy controls and a clinical trial of milnacipran, a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, in the treatment of pain in RA. We also collaborate with prospective observational cohorts, such as the Brigham Rheumatoid Arthritis Sequential Study, to examine relationships between pain and inflammation in large rheumatic disease populations. We are particularly interested in examining the acute to chronic pain transition and defining clinical predictors of chronic pain.

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R01AR064850     (LEE, YVONNE CLAIRE)Jul 1, 2013 - Jun 30, 2018
Central Pain Mechanisms, Pain Intensity and Drug Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Role: Principal Investigator

K23AR057578     (LEE, YVONNE CLAIRE)Sep 30, 2009 - Aug 31, 2014
Mechanisms, Outcomes and Treatment of Non-Articular Pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Role: Principal Investigator

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Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Berna C, Kirsch I, Zion SR, Lee YC, Jensen KB, Sadler P, Kaptchuk TJ, Edwards RR. Side effects can enhance treatment response through expectancy effects: an experimental analgesic randomized controlled trial. Pain. 2017 Jun; 158(6):1014-1020. PMID: 28178072.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Ogdie A, Sparks JA, Angeles-Han ST, Bush K, Castelino FV, Golding A, Jiang Y, Kahlenberg JM, Kim AHJ, Lee YC, Machireddy K, Ombrello MJ, Shah AA, Wallace ZS, Nigrovic PA, Makris UE. Barriers and facilitators of mentoring for trainees and early career investigators in rheumatology research: Current state, identification of needs, and roadmap to an inter-institutional adult rheumatology mentoring program. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 May 23. PMID: 28544766.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Lee YC, Bingham CO, Edwards RR, Marder W, Kristine P, Bolster MB, Clauw DJ, Moreland LW, Lu B, Wohlfahrt A, Zhang Z, Neogi T. Pain Sensitization is Associated with Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Apr 24. PMID: 28437846.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Kim H, Cui J, Frits M, Iannaccone C, Coblyn J, Shadick NA, Weinblatt ME, Lee YC. Fibromyalgia Predicts Two-Year Changes in Functional Status in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017 Feb 09. PMID: 28182837.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Cohen EM, Dossett ML, Mehta DH, Davis RB, Lee YC. Factors associated with complementary medicine use in pediatric musculoskeletal conditions: Results from a national survey. Complement Ther Med. 2017 Apr; 31:53-58. PMID: 28434471.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Rao DA, Gurish MF, Marshall JL, Slowikowski K, Fonseka CY, Liu Y, Donlin LT, Henderson LA, Wei K, Mizoguchi F, Teslovich NC, Weinblatt ME, Massarotti EM, Coblyn JS, Helfgott SM, Lee YC, Todd DJ, Bykerk VP, Goodman SM, Pernis AB, Ivashkiv LB, Karlson EW, Nigrovic PA, Filer A, Buckley CD, Lederer JA, Raychaudhuri S, Brenner MB. Pathologically expanded peripheral T helper cell subset drives B cells in rheumatoid arthritis. Nature. 2017 02 01; 542(7639):110-114. PMID: 28150777.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Cohen EM, Morley-Fletcher A, Mehta DH, Lee YC. A systematic review of psychosocial therapies for children with rheumatic diseases. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2017 Jan 17; 15(1):6. PMID: 28095871.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Dave AJ, Selzer F, Losina E, Usiskin I, Collins JE, Lee YC, Band P, Dalury DF, Iorio R, Kindsfater K, Katz JN. The association of pre-operative body pain diagram scores with pain outcomes following total knee arthroplasty. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2017 May; 25(5):667-675. PMID: 27986621.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Lee YC, Karlamangla AS, Yu Z, Liu CC, Finkelstein JS, Greendale GA, Harlow SD, Solomon DH. Pain Severity in Relation to the Final Menstrual Period in a Prospective Multiethnic Observational Cohort: Results From the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation. J Pain. 2017 Feb; 18(2):178-187. PMID: 27836812.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Boyden SD, Hossain IN, Wohlfahrt A, Lee YC. Non-inflammatory Causes of Pain in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2016 Jun; 18(6):30. PMID: 27097817.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Lee YC, Agnew-Blais J, Malspeis S, Keyes K, Costenbader K, Kubzansky LD, Roberts AL, Koenen KC, Karlson EW. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Risk for Incident Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2016 Mar; 68(3):292-8. PMID: 26239524; PMCID: PMC4740283 [Available on 03/01/17].
  12. Cohen E, Lee YC. A Mechanism-Based Approach to the Management of Osteoarthritis Pain. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2015 Dec; 13(6):399-406. PMID: 26419467; PMCID: PMC4623875 [Available on 12/01/16].
  13. Lee YC, Massarotti E, Edwards RR, Lu B, Liu C, Lo Y, Wohlfahrt A, Kim ND, Clauw DJ, Solomon DH. Effect of Milnacipran on Pain in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis with Widespread Pain: A Randomized Blinded Crossover Trial. J Rheumatol. 2016 Jan; 43(1):38-45. PMID: 26628607; PMCID: PMC4698221.
  14. Lee YC, Hackett J, Frits M, Iannaccone CK, Shadick NA, Weinblatt ME, Segurado OG, Sasso EH. Multibiomarker disease activity score and C-reactive protein in a cross-sectional observational study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis with and without concomitant fibromyalgia. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Apr; 55(4):640-8. PMID: 26608972; PMCID: PMC4795537.
  15. Kim SC, Landon JE, Lee YC. Patterns of health care utilization related to initiation of amitriptyline, duloxetine, gabapentin, or pregabalin in fibromyalgia. Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 Jan 28; 17:18. PMID: 25627453; PMCID: PMC4343277.
  16. Lee YC, Frits ML, Iannaccone CK, Weinblatt ME, Shadick NA, Williams DA, Cui J. Subgrouping of patients with rheumatoid arthritis based on pain, fatigue, inflammation, and psychosocial factors. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Aug; 66(8):2006-14. PMID: 24782222; PMCID: PMC4188637.
  17. Lee YC. Swollen to tender joint count ratio: a novel combination of routine measures to assess pain and treatment response in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Feb; 66(2):171-2. PMID: 23982975.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Cui J, Taylor KE, Lee YC, Källberg H, Weinblatt ME, Coblyn JS, Klareskog L, Criswell LA, Gregersen PK, Shadick NA, Plenge RM, Karlson EW. The influence of polygenic risk scores on heritability of anti-CCP level in RA. Genes Immun. 2014 Mar; 15(2):107-14. PMID: 24385024; PMCID: PMC3948067.
  19. Lee YC. Effect and treatment of chronic pain in inflammatory arthritis. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2013 Jan; 15(1):300. PMID: 23292816; PMCID: PMC3552517.
  20. Lee YC, Lu B, Edwards RR, Wasan AD, Nassikas NJ, Clauw DJ, Solomon DH, Karlson EW. The role of sleep problems in central pain processing in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Jan; 65(1):59-68. PMID: 23124650; PMCID: PMC3535519.
  21. Wolfe F, Walitt BT, Katz RS, Lee YC, Michaud KD, Häuser W. Longitudinal patterns of analgesic and central acting drug use and associated effectiveness in fibromyalgia. Eur J Pain. 2013 Apr; 17(4):581-6. PMID: 23169685.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Vaidya A, Price CN, Lee YC. Interactive medical case. Disconnected. N Engl J Med. 2012 Aug 16; 367(7):e10. PMID: 22894597.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Lee YC, Lu B, Boire G, Haraoui BP, Hitchon CA, Pope JE, Thorne JC, Keystone EC, Solomon DH, Bykerk VP. Incidence and predictors of secondary fibromyalgia in an early arthritis cohort. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 Jun; 72(6):949-54. PMID: 22791744; PMCID: PMC3488361.
  24. Lee YC, Padera RF, Noss EH, Fossel AH, Bienfang D, Liang MH, Docken WP. Clinical course and management of a consecutive series of patients with "healed temporal arteritis". J Rheumatol. 2012 Feb; 39(2):295-302. PMID: 22133620; PMCID: PMC3271179.
  25. Lee YC, Cui J, Lu B, Frits ML, Iannaccone CK, Shadick NA, Weinblatt ME, Solomon DH. Pain persists in DAS28 rheumatoid arthritis remission but not in ACR/EULAR remission: a longitudinal observational study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2011 Jun 08; 13(3):R83. PMID: 21651807; PMCID: PMC3218896.
  26. Lee YC, Nassikas NJ, Clauw DJ. The role of the central nervous system in the generation and maintenance of chronic pain in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Arthritis Res Ther. 2011 Apr 28; 13(2):211. PMID: 21542893; PMCID: PMC3132050.
  27. Lee YC, Lu B, Bathon JM, Haythornthwaite JA, Smith MT, Page GG, Edwards RR. Pain sensitivity and pain reactivity in osteoarthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Mar; 63(3):320-7. PMID: 20957660; PMCID: PMC3030930.
  28. Iannaccone CK, Lee YC, Cui J, Frits ML, Glass RJ, Plenge RM, Solomon DH, Weinblatt ME, Shadick NA. Using genetic and clinical data to understand response to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy: data from the Brigham and Women's Hospital Rheumatoid Arthritis Sequential Study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2011 Jan; 50(1):40-6. PMID: 20847201.
    View in: PubMed
  29. Lee YC, Chibnik LB, Lu B, Wasan AD, Edwards RR, Fossel AH, Helfgott SM, Solomon DH, Clauw DJ, Karlson EW. The relationship between disease activity, sleep, psychiatric distress and pain sensitivity in rheumatoid arthritis: a cross-sectional study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2009; 11(5):R160. PMID: 19874580; PMCID: PMC2787262.
  30. Lee YC, Raychaudhuri S, Cui J, De Vivo I, Ding B, Alfredsson L, Padyukov L, Costenbader KH, Seielstad M, Graham RR, Klareskog L, Gregersen PK, Plenge RM, Karlson EW. The PRL -1149 G/T polymorphism and rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 May; 60(5):1250-4. PMID: 19404952; PMCID: PMC2956274.
  31. Lee YC, Cui J, Costenbader KH, Shadick NA, Weinblatt ME, Karlson EW. Investigation of candidate polymorphisms and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis patients on methotrexate. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 Jun; 48(6):613-7. PMID: 19193698; PMCID: PMC2681284.
  32. Lee YC, Shmerling RH. The benefit of nonpharmacologic therapy to treat symptomatic osteoarthritis. Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2008 Jan; 10(1):5-10. PMID: 18457605.
    View in: PubMed
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