ACR 2018 Preview: A Look at What’s New in Rheumatology


Here: highlights of some of the studies that will be presented at the American College of Rheumatology 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago from October 19 to 24.

Chicago skyline. ©Rudy Balasko/

More than 450 educational sessions and workshops and over 3000 research studies will be presented at the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals Annual Meeting held in Chicago from October 19 to 24. Here are a few highlights identified by members of the ACR Annual Meeting Planning Committee.

“This year’s Great Debate features a discussion on the hydroxychloroquine dosing recommendations, which I think have been moderately controversial among rheumatologists,” said Victoria Shanmugam, MBBS, MRCP, chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee. “We should have an ophthalmology point of view and a rheumatology point of view, and the session will be entertaining and educational.”

“There also is a great session that’s been put together looking at novel and emerging treatments for osteoarthritis,” continued Dr. Shanmugam. “One of the state-of-the-art sessions will tackle treating lupus in 2018, which I think will provide some good updates for this challenging disease.”

“Sunday has my favorite course, Hot Topics in Myositis,” said Gregory C. Gardner, MD, Gilliland-Henderson Professor Medicine at the University of Washington and clinical subchair of the ACR Annual Meeting Planning Committee. “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 Vasculitis: Update 2018 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.”

“One of the clearest changes is the number of rheumatologists in the US doing ultrasounds,” continued Dr. Gardner. “That’s the reason we are continuing our Anatomy in a Day series. A growing number of rheumatologists are using sonography in practice, and the College is doing everything it can to support them.”

Treat to target is another evolving area. RA: Beyond Treat to Target 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.

Daily updates on the ACR 2018 Annual Meeting are available at ACRDailyNewsLive. For in-depth coverage of the studies mentioned here as well as late-breaking research, check out our dedicated ACR 2018 Resource Center.

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