November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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Pediatric sessions underscore diverse expertise needed to treat young patients


5 minutes

A global, multidisciplinary approach to pediatric rheumatic disorders is at the forefront of the pediatric sessions at ACR Convergence 2022. A host of speakers in this year’s pediatric lineup are experts outside of rheumatology—in the United States and beyond.

Eyal Muscal, MD, MS

“The main goal is to ensure that we disseminate crosscutting, collaborative work that improves the care of children with rheumatic illnesses through the work of multiple specialties,” said Eyal Muscal, MD, MS. “Most talks will have content experts in rheumatology, but also content experts from additional fields because it truly takes a village to dampen inflammation and take care of kids with rheumatic illnesses.”

On Saturday, November 12, panelists will discuss fertility, drugs affecting fertility, and women’s overall health in Incorporating Women’s Health in Rheumatology: Empowering Our Adolescents. The session begins at 3 p.m. ET in Room 120 of the Philadelphia Convention Center.

“Pediatric rheumatologists take care of teenagers of childbearing age 24/7 and have to deal with the fact that the post-Roe landscape has made conversations and even standard medication selections fraught with anxiety,” Dr. Muscal said.

In an ACR Crosstalk session on Sunday, November 13, a pediatric rheumatologist and a pediatric ophthalmologist will join together for a session on severe eye disease in Difficult to Treat Pediatric Uveitis at 10:30 a.m. ET in Room 121.

Also on November 13, one of the preeminent vaccine experts in the United States, Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, will give an update on COVID-19 vaccinations for children and how immunocompromised children are affected by these vaccines. COVID-19: Strategies to Protect Pediatric Patients will begin at 3 p.m. ET in Terrace Ballroom I.

“Dr. Hotez’s center actually developed a COVID vaccine, which then they gave away for free to India and other countries to ensure greater equity in terms of vaccine administration,” Dr. Muscal said.

Additional sessions that address disparities in healthcare include Quality Improvement Approaches to Addressing Disparities in Health Outcomes at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 13, in Terrace Ballroom II and III, and Enhancing a Diverse Pediatric Rheumatology Work-force: Focus on Leaders and Young Researchers at 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday, November 14, in Room 122. In the first session, pediatric rheumatologists with expertise in quality improvement will review attempts to mitigate health inequities. In the second session, two department of pediatrics chairwomen will illustrate efforts to nurture young leaders and scientists of various racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Adult rheumatologists will also benefit from the pediatric lineup, which includes expert speakers on juvenile arthritis and rare disorders.

On Sunday, November 13, panelists will discuss JIA for the Adult Rheumatology Provider: Taking Care of Children in the Biologic Age and Beyond at 12 p.m. ET in Room 201.

On Monday, November 14, two adult experts will discuss Rare Systemic Inflammatory Conditions in Children: A Focus on IgG4-related Disease and Castleman’s Syndrome beginning at 12 p.m. ET in Room 122.

“The two speakers are adult physicians who are world-renowned in their conditions. They’re going to give their perspectives as adult physicians for the pediatric aspect of rare disease states,” said Dr. Muscal, referring to David Fajgenbaum, MD, MSc, MBA, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and John H. Stone, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital Rheumatology Unit, Harvard Medical School.

The international roster of speakers also includes world-renowned experts in inflammatory bone disease and neuroimaging. Seza Ozen, MD, MSc, Hacettepe University Medical Faculty, Turkey, will explain the process and challenges in the development of the proposed ACR/EULAR classification criteria for CNO in Development of Proposed Classification Criteria for Pediatric Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis (CNO) and Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO) at 12 p.m. ET Saturday, November 12, in Room 122.

Simone Appenzeller, MD, PhD, Unicamp, Brazil, will discuss neuroimaging in childhood-onset lupus in the Saturday, November 12, session Neuropsychiatric Manifestations in Childhood Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which begins at 5 p.m. in Terrace Ballroom I.

“In a global village, we are trying to ensure that researchers and clinicians from different continents get a chance to interact with each other. Now that we’re back in person, there are multiple opportunities for people to engage,” Dr. Muscal said, highlighting the virtual Pediatric Community Hub and the Childhood Arthritis Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) meeting as beneficial networking opportunities for pediatric rheumatologists outside of scientific sessions at ACR Convergence.

Other pediatric sessions highlighted by Dr. Muscal include:

Pediatric Rheumatology Year in Review and Awards
Saturday, November 12 | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET | Terrace Ballroom IV
Presenters will share the most significant clinical, basic, and translational research findings in pediatric rheumatology in the past year. This session also celebrates the contributions of members of the pediatric rheumatology community receiving awards and honors at ACR Convergence.

ACR Guidelines: Kawasaki Disease
Sunday, November 13 | 8 – 8:45 p.m. ET | Room 204
This session will outline the recommendations and clinical application of the ACR’s Kawasaki disease guideline and recommendations for the management and care of patients with vasculitis.

Juvenile Myositis: Beyond Consensus Treatment
Sunday, November 13 | 12 – 1 p.m. ET | Room 121
Panelists will provide updates in treatment beyond standard therapies. Biologic therapies, JAK inhibitor treatment, and management of refractory skin disease will be discussed.

Transition Perspectives
Monday, November 14 | 9 – 10 a.m. ET | Room 122
Speakers will review successful techniques for transitioning from pediatric to adult rheumatology to minimize care gaps. This session includes a patient perspective presentation.

FDA: Pediatric Update
Monday, November 14 | 3 – 3:45 p.m. ET | Terrace Ballroom II and III
This session is a review of major updates on pediatric rheumatology drugs from the past year. Topics will include any recent pediatric rheumatology-specific drug safety issues or pediatric drug shortages, as well as any upcoming information on the COVID-19 vaccine for children.

Pediatric Thieves Market: Show Me Your Best Cases
Monday, November 14 | 5 – 6 p.m. ET | Room 120
Through the presentation of challenging clinical cases, participants in this interactive session can compare their diagnostic and management strategies to those of their peers, learn to recognize unusual presentations of common diseases, and learn to identify essential mimics of rheumatic diseases.


If you weren’t able to attend a session in person during ACR Convergence 2023, you haven’t missed out. All registered meeting participants receive on-demand access to scientific sessions through October 31, 2024.