ACR Convergence 2023 will include a robust pediatric program.
“We have 19 total sessions that are pediatric focused in addition to the clinical and basic science abstracts for pediatrics,” said Susan Shenoi, MD, MS, Chair of the Pediatric Team for the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC). “It is the first time we have this many sessions dedicated to pediatrics. We are going to be encompassing all topics near and dear to pediatric rheumatology, including juvenile arthritis, lupus, juvenile dermatomyositis, vaccinations, and some rare diseases. We also are going to review innovative models around mental health in pediatric rheumatic diseases.”
The breadth of topics reflects the multifaceted nature of the subspecialty, she said.
COVID-19, a subject that has been prominent in conference programming for the past few years, will be featured in the Sunday, Nov. 12, session Long COVID Mechanisms and Approach to Pediatric Care, which begins at 12 p.m. PT in Room 7A-B of the San Diego Convention Center.
“Now that the COVID-19 public health emergency has been declared as over since May 11, we are looking at the implications and effects of COVID in the next phases that are to come,” said Dr. Shenoi, Associate Professor at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Center.
“We also have cutting-edge sessions around calcinosis in juvenile dermatomyositis and a focus on biomarkers for lupus nephritis,” she continued. “We have an innovative session around ocular health in uveitis and retinal vasculitis that discusses pathogenesis and the novel use of innovative imaging biomarkers in this arena.”
Both sessions take place Monday, Nov. 13. Calcinosis in Juvenile Dermatomyositis will begin at 9 a.m. in Room 7A-B. At 3:15 p.m., Harnessing Innovative Modalities to Improve the Monitoring of Ocular Inflammation in Children will begin in Room 8.
A popular session weighing different approaches to treatment will return as part of the Monday lineup. The Pediatric Great Debate: Combination Therapy Versus Step-Up Therapy for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis will begin at 12 p.m. in Room 6A-B.
“This is going to be focused on a current clinical dilemma that a lot of clinicians grapple with in practice, which is, should providers use traditional step-up therapy for juvenile arthritis management or use early combination therapy from the get-go,” Dr. Shenoi said.
The Pediatric Great Debate is among select sessions that will be livestreamed for remote viewing in real time. All ACR Convergence sessions will be available on demand for registered participants following the meeting. Other livestreamed pediatric sessions include:
- Under Pressure: Updates in Lupus Nephritis, Sunday, Nov. 12, 9–10 a.m., Room 6A-B
- Pediatric Year in Review, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2–3:30 p.m., Room 6A-B
- Complex Inborn Errors of Immunity: Lessons and Implications for Common Rheumatic Diseases, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., Room 6A-B
- Pediatric Thieves Market: Show Me Your Best Cases!, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 4–5 p.m., Room 6A-B
On Tuesday, Clinical Trials for Pediatric Disease: The Current Landscape will examine the unique factors that need to be accounted for when studying new drugs for the pediatric population and whether and how children should be incorporated into adult studies. The session begins at 2 p.m. in Room 8.
Two sessions will address issues related to mental health for pediatric rheumatology patients. On Monday at 4:30 p.m. in Room 8, Novel Approaches: Enhancing Mental Health in Children with Rheumatic Diseases will focus on innovative models of incorporating mental health providers, such as psychologists and behavioral therapists, into pediatric rheumatology clinics. A parent advocate will be among the speakers. Integrating Mental Health Conversations and Screening in Pediatric Rheumatology Clinics will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday in Room 8.
“This session is a workshop around mental health that will train providers in pediatric rheumatology on how to initiate conversations about mental health with their patients and families, how to identify signs and symptoms suggestive of mental health associated with our diseases, how to interpret some of the screening tools for mental health, and how to refer or start treatment and help these families,” Dr. Shenoi explained.
Additional pediatric sessions
Sunday, Nov. 12
- Pediatric Rheumatology: Food and Drug Administration Update, 11 a.m.–12 p.m., Room 8
- New Developments in Pediatric Sjögren’s Disease, 4–5 p.m., Room 8
Monday, Nov. 13
- Getting Past Central Nervous System Vasculitis: Mimics Galore, 8–9 a.m., Room 8
- Vaccinations in Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases: ACR Guidelines and More, 11 a.m.–12 p.m., Room 8
Tuesday, Nov. 14
- Spondyloarthropathy: Comparing Adult and Pediatric Diseases, 9–10 a.m., Room 7A-B
- Current Approaches to Chronic Non-Bacterial Osteomyelitis (CNO) Care, 11 a.m.–12 p.m., Room 8
Wednesday, Nov. 15
- Comprehensive Care for Systemic Autoinflammatory Diseases, 9:15–10:15 a.m., Room 8
- Pediatric Polyarteritis Nodosa: Cutaneous Versus Systemic, 10:30–11:30 a.m., Room 8