• Guidelines Update: the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has updated its recommendations for rheumatoid arthritis management with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to include new guidelines on starting effective therapy in patients early, with a goal of low disease activity or remission. The EULAR task force published its updated recommendations recently in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
  • Contrast-enhanced imaging is a common diagnostic tool in rheumatic disease, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Recent research published in The Lancet, however, calls into question the effectiveness and value of the guidelines-based recommendation for prophylactic hydration to prevent contrast-induced nephropathy in high-risk patients prior to procedures requiring iodinated contrast media.
  • A budget bill currently working its way through Congress (H.R. 1301) will allocate $5 million toward peer-reviewed lupus research through the Medical Research Program operated by the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Ft. Detrick, Maryland. The House approved the Fiscal 2017 Defense Appropriations Conference Report last week, and is awaiting consideration by the Senate.
  • The long-term toxicity of steroids used to treat rheumatoid arthritis was evaluated in a recent study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The study examined patients with early RA who were treated with very low-dose glucocorticoids over a 7-year follow-up period and found them to be as safe and no more toxic than those not treated with glucocorticoids.
  • The USC Keck School of Medicine has received a donation from Selena Gomez to support lupus research at the institution. The singer and actress has created the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research, which will back a pilot research program targeted at treating complications of lupus and will be led by Janos Peti-Peterdi, MD, professor of physiology and biophysics at the Keck School.
  • In the video below, Nancy A. Shadick, MD, MPH, director of the Lyme Disease Prevention Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, discusses how to prevent the tick bites that cause Lyme disease and recognizing its symptoms.

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