November 10-15

The official news source of

ACR Convergence 2023

San Diego, CA

Home // Clinical Practice program features latest updates on critical patient care and management topics

Clinical Practice program features latest updates on critical patient care and management topics


7 minutes

Tracy Frech, MD, MS
Tracy Frech, MD, MS

The ACR Convergence 2021 Clinical Practice program features a robust and comprehensive schedule of sessions covering the latest clinical trial results, newest therapies, and emerging technological advances related to the clinical management of patients with rheumatic diseases.

“A guiding principle of ACR’s educational model is to create connections among rheumatology professionals by engaging learners, fostering community, and promoting meaningful collaboration and discussions within and across disciplines,” said Clinical Abstract Selection Co-chair Tracy Frech, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt Medical Center and Director of the Systemic Sclerosis Clinic as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah Hospital. “The Clinical Practice program is focused on state-of-the-art practice for our global rheumatology community. Specifically, the sessions are designed to address current practice and patient management issues that are important to all rheumatologists.”

Building on the success of last year’s meeting, Dr. Frech said that the ACR Convergence 2021 virtual program continues to allow for an outstanding program that can be watched both on demand as well as live, with many sessions featuring interactive question-and-answer periods as part of the initial showing of the live presentations.

Clinical Management/Decision Making Sessions

“These sessions hit on the key practice challenges and present the rationale behind therapeutic decision making,” Dr. Frech said. “Providers will leave the sessions understanding diagnostic challenges and proper treatment escalation for lupus nephritis, large vessel vasculitis, osteoarthritis, adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis features, refractory inflammatory myositis, and gout in patients with cardiovascular disease.”

THE GREAT DEBATE: Enhancing Lupus Nephritis Therapy: Is Your Next Step Belimumab or Voclosporin?
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 9 – 10 a.m. ET 

Recent clinical trials have enriched the treatment landscape of lupus nephritis (LN), and this provides hope for the role of novel agents in managing LN. With trials supporting the use of belimumab and voclosporin in LN, the question remains about which agent to use first.

Large Vessel Vasculitis: Diagnostic Challenges with Temporal Artery Biopsy and Imaging
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 10 – 10:45 a.m. ET

Faculty will present challenging case-based presentations to review how information obtained from biopsy, ultrasound, and other cross-sectional imaging can be used to support or refute diagnoses, assess degree of inflammation and disease burden, and affect treatment decision making and long-term management of these diseases.

Updates in OA: Distinguishing OA Subtypes & Illuminating Future Therapies
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 4 – 5 p.m. ET

In this session, faculty will provide attendees with a timely update on osteoarthritis subtypes and management, including a discussion of clinical phenotyping of OA patients, with a particular focus on differentiating erosive or inflammatory OA subtypes from traditional OA, and an overview of up-and-coming therapies for OA, specifically disease-modifying anti-osteoarthritic drugs likely to be approved within the next several years.

Management of Adults with JIA: Uveitis, MAS & More
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 2 – 3 p.m. ET

This session will review the clinical spectrum of JIA and disease characteristics that may impact care in adulthood, current evidence and recommendations for monitoring and treatment of JIA-associated uveitis, and the early signs of macrophage activation syndrome, discuss diagnostic work-up, and current treatment recommendations.

Management of Inflammatory Myositis Refractory to Initial Therapies
Monday, Nov. 8 | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

Faculty will discuss the management of inflammatory myositis refractory to initial therapies, review the clinical trial landscape for treatment of inflammatory myopathies, and explore potential mechanisms for intervention in these patients.

Management of Gout in Challenging Cardiac Patients & Gout Imaging Advances
Monday, Nov. 8 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Faculty will address the many difficulties of managing gout in patients with complex cardiovascular disease, given the many possible cardiovascular effects of the medications used to treat their gout and prevent flares. Attendees will also learn about advances in gout imaging, including ultrasound and dual energy computed tomography techniques.

COVID-19 Sessions

“COVID-19 presents unique challenges for rheumatologists. These sessions provide the latest and greatest information that rheumatologists must be familiar with, including an update on therapeutics for treatment, vaccination, and post-COVID syndrome,” Dr. Frech said.

COVID-19 – Update on Therapeutics
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 4:30 – 5 p.m. ET

This session will help demystify the data for effective treatment options for COVID-19 as well as discuss future directions in developing therapeutics.

SARS-CoV2 Vaccination: An Update
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. ET

Faculty will summarize information regarding SARS-CoV2 vaccine efficacy and safety, review barriers to vaccination, and discuss the immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccines in special populations (e.g., patients on immunosuppressant medications, pregnant women and the elderly).

Vaccines: Modern Immunology Meets Modern Rheumatology
Monday, Nov. 8 | 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. ET

Faculty will describe the range of vaccines now available in 2021, provide a quick update of vaccines in rheumatology, and report and discuss COVID-19 vaccination experiences in clinical rheumatology practice.

Post-COVID Syndrome
Monday, Nov. 8 | 2 – 3 p.m. ET

Faculty will comprehensively describe sequelae of post-COVID infection in mental health, as well as the neurological and pulmonary systems in these patients.

Health Disparities and Global Rheumatology Sessions

“Improving care for all patients with rheumatic disease is critical for advancing healthcare. Sessions to highlight research progress, unique global challenges, and efforts to address racial disparities are addressed in several important sessions,” Dr. Frech said.

Challenges & Innovation in Global Rheumatology Research
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. ET

This session will highlight the multiple challenges encountered in global rheumatology research and dissemination and provide creative approaches to overcoming these obstacles.

Progress of Rheumatology in the Americas (PANLAR)
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. ET 

The Pan American League of Associations for Rheumatology (PANLAR) will present an enlightening session on current rheumatology innovation and research throughout the Americas. During the session, winners of the PANLAR Innovation Award and H. Ralph Schumacher Award will provide overviews of their work and illustrate how their efforts are contributing to the progress of rheumatology in Latin America.

Rheumatoid Arthritis & Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: An Asia-Pacific Reflection (APLAR)
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. ET

The Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR) developed this session in which faculty will discuss unique features of pathogenesis that will shed light on the cause of different clinical behaviors, including damage accrual and response to treatment. In addition, attendees will gain valuable insight into the future potential for disease prevention in at-risk patient populations.

Addressing Racial Disparities in Rheumatology
Sunday, Nov. 7 | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET

This session will familiarize attendees with the latest research regarding autoimmune disease, with specific attention to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis. Faculty will connect important themes between different studies and identify current gaps in knowledge to instruct attendees in clinical trial design and establish the future goals of research.

Global Discoveries in Pediatric Rheumatology (ILAR)
Monday, Nov. 8 | 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. ET

This session will highlight collaborations and innovation in pediatric rheumatology across the globe. This session was developed by the International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR), which supports programs that lead to advancing rheumatology, including pediatric rheumatology, in countries where there are exceptional unmet needs.

Chronic Rheumatic Diseases in Africa (AFLAR)
Tuesday, Nov. 9 | 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. ET

The African League of Associations for Rheumatology (AFLAR) will provide an update on the work now being done by rheumatologists in Africa to address chronic rheumatic diseases, including enthesopathy, chikungunya, and SLE.

Increasing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials
Tuesday, Nov. 9 | 9:45 – 10:30 a.m. ET

Faculty will focus on how the current diversity in clinical trials has proven to not adequately represent the communities which rely on many of these novel therapies and discuss approaches that have been tested to develop materials for primary care providers and rheumatologists to increase diverse enrollment in clinical trials.


If you haven’t registered for ACR Convergence 2021, register today to access all of the valuable content during the meeting, November 3–10. Registration also includes on-demand access to the virtual platform (session recordings, Poster Hall, Community Hubs, and ShowRheum) until March 11, 2022.