Previous Posts

Questions Remain about New Shingles Vaccine in Patients with Autoimmune Diseases

Shingrix is a new shingles vaccine that is known to be much more effective than the previous generation shingles vaccine (Zostavax).  However, a new article in the newsletter MedPage Today notes that the efficacy and safety of Shingrix has not been established among patients with autoimmune diseases.  While Shingrix was studied in patients with cancer and HIV, it was not tested in patients with autoimmune diseases because of concerns that one component of the vaccine [...]

August 28th, 2018|Categories: News & Announcements|0 Comments

High Magnification Nailfold Capillary Examination for the Diagnosis of Systemic Scleroderma

Diagnosis of systemic scleroderma can often be very challenging.  Diagnosis is done by a combination of lab tests (ANA/antibodies) and clinical symptoms such as skin thickening, puffy hands, telangiectasias. Additional symptoms such as GI symptoms (e.g., GERD or difficulty swallowing) and tendon friction rubs are factored into the diagnosis equation as well.  One of the most important diagnostic tools is nailfold capillary examination under medium to high magnification.  As it turns out, since systemic scleroderma is [...]

Report from the Scleroderma Foundation National Patient Education Conference

The 20th annual Scleroderma Foundation national patient education conference was held over this past weekend in Philadelphia.  As always, it was excellent and very informative.  Attendance was over 700 people, a record turnout.  The Scleroderma Foundation does a great job on organizing and running these conferences and I recommend going to them if you are able to.  Next year’s conference will be in Chicago, very close to me, but easy to get to from anywhere. With [...]

August 1st, 2018|Categories: News & Announcements|0 Comments

Talking to your doctor about therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE)

This past March, after we announced that the research paper “Therapeutic Plasma Exchange for the Treatment of Systemic Sclerosis: A Comprehensive Review and Analysis” had been published in the Journal of Scleroderma and Related Disorders, we were asked by a number of patients about how to approach their doctors to talk about this potential treatment approach.  After discussions with a number of physicians about how best to initiate these discussions, we have written several articles [...]