The advancing tides of basic science research and improved technology make the Clinical Practice track one of the busiest programs at this year’s ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting.
“One of the clearest changes is the number of rheumatologists in the U.S. doing ultrasounds,” said Gregory C. Gardner, MD, Gilliland-Henderson Professor Medicine at the University of Washington and clinical subchair of the ACR Annual Meeting Planning Committee. “That’s the reason we are continuing our Anatomy in a Day series (11:00 am Sunday, October 21, Monday, October 22, and Tuesday, October 23). A growing number of rheumatologists are using sonography in practice, and the College is doing everything it can to support them.”
In this series, look for Sonoanatomy of Lower Extremity Nerves on Sunday, Demystifying Low Back & Lateral Hip Pain: New Patho-Anatomical Perspectives on Monday, and Supra-Aortic Vasculature Anatomy, Physiology & Pathoanatomy on Tuesday. Those three focused courses follow a two-day pre-meeting ACR Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Course for Rheumatologists on Friday and Saturday.
Treat to target is another evolving area. Not long ago, treat to target was the new, sometimes-controversial model for rheumatoid arthritis. Today, treat to target is just the beginning. A Sunday session on RA: Beyond Treat to Target (8:30 am Sunday, October 21) will explore the latest findings in disease pathogenesis related to ACPA autoantibodies and a trial of disease prevention in people who have positive ACPA but no symptoms of arthritis.
“Sunday has my favorite course, Hot Topics in Myositis (4:30 pm Sunday, October 21),” Dr. Gardner continued. “We will be talking about myositis associated with other connective tissues diseases such as scleroderma or lupus; the new classification of myositis; and how to recognize, diagnose, and treat inclusion body myositis. We will also have [the Meet the Professor sessions] Vasculitis: Update 2018 (7:45 am Sunday, October 21, Monday, October 22, and Tuesday, October 23) to focus on some of the less common forms of vasculitis that often show up on board examinations and occasionally show up in the office where the go unrecognized.”
Monday, October 22 brings new research to a familiar topic, non-biologic treatments for RA. Get the Most from Methotrexate & Other Conventional DMARDs Without Causing Harm (2:30 pm) explores the use of some medications that don’t need approval for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis and how to use these agents most effectively. In 2018, there will also be a review of severe antiphospholipid syndrome (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome: The Scary Stuff, 12:30 pm Tuesday, October 23), and we are continuing our series on the clinical management of specific manifestations of SLE (When Lupus Gets Bad: Severe Pulmonary, Renal & Neuropsychiatric Disease, 8:30 am Tuesday, October 23).
Finally, Dr. Gardner pointed out several sessions on timely issues from a patient perspective, including My Chromosomes & Me: Talk to Patients About Consumer Genetic Tests (1:00 pm Tuesday, October 23) and Diet as Therapy: Lessons From Inflammatory Bowel Disease (9:00 am Tuesday, October 23).
Overall, the Annual Meeting will be a cornucopia of great sessions, according to Dr. Gardner.
“What a great time to be a rheumatologist!” he said.