Pulsed Plasma Exchange for the Treatment of Systemic Sclerosis: An Overview for Clinicians

We are frequently asked by patients interested in talking to their doctor about trying therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) how to approach this topic.  This can be very challenging, especially since many rheumatologists have little or no experience using TPE and often view TPE as a last resort treatment when everything else fails, assuming (incorrectly) that it is very invasive and risky. Working with the doctors on our Medical Advisory Board, we have written a document [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Prevalence and Incidence of Systemic Scleroderma in the US

It is very common to read in articles about systemic scleroderma that there are about 300,000 people in the US with this disease.  This number is completely wrong, according to numerous research studies. In 2007, the The National Arthritis Data Workgroup reviewed data from national and regional surveys to estimate national prevalence rates of various rheumatic diseases based on 2005 U.S. Census data.  The results were published in an article titled, “Estimates of the Prevalence of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic [...]

November 29th, 2016|Categories: Educational Articles, Popular|0 Comments