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Detecting Connective Tissue Disease-Associated Interstitial Lung Disease: What Are Current Screening Strategies?

Medscape features a perspective by HSS rheumatologists Kimberly (Showalter) Lakin, MD, MS, and Jessica K. Gordon, MD, about current screening strategies for detecting connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease.

Drs. Lakin and Gordon explained, “Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among individuals with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and also negatively affects survival for those with other connective tissue diseases (CTD), including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Sjogren’s syndrome, and myositis. Symptoms of ILD include cough and shortness of breath; however, some patients, even those with a high burden of radiographic ILD changes, may have few or no symptoms.”

They continued, “Further, it is increasingly recognized that early identification and treatment is key to improving outcomes for individuals with CTD-ILD. Indeed, currently approved treatments have been shown to prevent ILD progression rather than yield large improvements in pulmonary function. Therefore, it is essential for rheumatologists and other treating physicians to recognize known risk factors associated with ILD development and progression and to screen at-risk patients with appropriate testing.”

Read the full article at Medscape.com.