Frontiers in the treatment of systemic sclerosis interstitial lung disease: therapeutic updates and best practices
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In this online CME self-learning program: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare connective tissue disease that affects between eight and 56 people per million per year and up to 341 people per million total in the U.S., of whom around 70% will experience interstitial lung disease (ILD). The disease is characterized by a progressive course of scarring to the blood vessels underlying the skin, connective tissue, joints, and organs. The pathology of SSc remains to be fully elucidated, but different immunologic and genetic pathways have been explored as potential precipitating factors for SSc. Based on what is known, SSc-ILD may be summarized into three steps: 1) continuous injury to endothelial cells, 2) activation of innate and adaptive immunity, 3) recruitment and activation of fibroblasts. Early diagnosis is crucial for preservation and survival of major organs. Lung fibrosis is considered irreversible, and if the disease has progressed far beyond repair, lung transplantation is considered. Therefore, early detection is paramount in order for patients to preserve their lung function.
The following HCPs: pulmonologists, rheumatologists, radiologists, primary care physicians, dermatologists; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists specializing in pulmonology; and any other HCPs who have an interest in or otherwise clinically encounter patients with SSc-ILD.
By the end of the session the participant will be able to:
- Define the clinical features of systemic sclerosis
- Discuss current understanding of the biology of systemic sclerosis
- Define clinical phenotypes of systemic sclerosis
- Explore pulmonary manifestations of systemic sclerosis
- Understand the approach to diagnosis of systemic sclerosis interstitial lung disease and other pulmonary manifestations