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Rheumatology Update

Toronto, ON—A rheumatology-dermatology clinic that is open 1 day a week in Vancouver, BC, is helping to build a bridge between the 2 disciplines, in a similar way that rheumatology-ophthalmology clinics function.
Charlotte, NC—Although managing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients who are pregnant or trying to conceive may be challenging, rheumatologists should aim to improve disease activity and pregnancy outcomes, according to Megan E. B. Clowse, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director, Duke Autoimmunity in Pregnancy Registry, Duke University Medical Center, at the North Carolina Regional Association 2014 annual meeting.
Quebec City, Quebec—The majority of Canadian rheumatologists who responded to a 19-item questionnaire about the use of medical marijuana for rheumatic conditions reported that they are not confident in this arena.
Washington, DC—Researchers have customized a software suite to automatically determine the disease severity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) based on information from their electronic medical records (EMRs). This is a solid first step toward streamlining and individualizing diagnosis and treatment of this condition, according to the investigators.
Treatment for a life long condition such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a significant part of the costs incurred by patients, but costs such as travel time and associated expenditures are also substantial costs incurred by these patients.
By Frederique H. Evans, MBS The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Committee on Rheumatology Training and Workforce Issues found ongoing regional shortages in the rheumatology workforce and highlighted potential target communities that may benefit the most from the addition of a local rheumatologist, according to a recent report in the December 2013 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (American College of Rheumatology Committee on Rheumatology Training and Workforce Issues. 2013;65:3017-3025).
By Alice Goodman San Diego, CA—It was a Herculean task to review 2900 abstracts from the 2013 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting to select the studies most likely to impact clinical practice, but Arthur F. Kava­naugh, MD, Director, Center for In­novative Therapy, University of California, San Diego, and John J. Cush, MD, Director of Clinical Rheumatology, Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, TX, took up the challenge. Following are some of their best “picks,” highlighting the prac­tical implications for patients with rheumatic diseases.
By Phoebe Starr San Diego, CA—Apremilast, a first-in-class oral targeted phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor, achieved rapid, sustained clinically meaningful resolution of oral ulcers in patients with Behçet’s disease. Apremilast also reduced disease activity and improved patients’ quality of life (QOL) and pain compared with placebo.
Elevated plasmablast levels potential new diagnostic biomarker By Phoebe Starr San Diego, CA—The spectrum of immunoglobulin (Ig)G4-related disorders responds to treatment with rituximab, according to results of a new study, suggesting that elevated plasmablasts are a sensitive marker for these disorders. Lead investigator John H. Stone, MD, MPH, Director, Clinical Rheumatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, presented at the 2013 American College of Rheumatology meeting.
By Wayne Kuznar Washington, DC—In the previous issue of Value-Based Care in Rheumatology, clinical publications of impact from the peer-reviewed literature from late 2011 and 2012 were selected for review by David A. Isenberg, MD, FRCP, FAMS, Arthritis Research Campaign’s Diamond Jubilee Professor of Rheumatology, University College London, and presented at the 2012 meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
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