Rheumatology Rounds Online

Needs Statement and Overview

Inflammatory rheumatologic disorders include a variety of conditions such as musculoskeletal disorders, multisystemic and connective tissue diseases. While most of these disorders have a low prevalence, the combined burden of inflammatory rheumatologic diseases accounts for a major cause of chronic disability. Staying current on patient management strategies can be a challenge.

Most rheumatologists agree that early intervention is crucial for the successful outcome of rheumatologic disorders. The diagnosis of rheumatologic diseases currently relies primarily on the history and physical examination. Recent advances in imaging technologies and in the serological identification of molecular indicators of disease have resulted in improved test sensitivity and specificity. These technologies have had a tremendous influence on the rheumatologist’s ability to achieve early detection and accurate diagnosis.

Traditionally, therapeutic intervention in rheumatologic disorders has been predominantly palliative. However, disease-modifying drugs have become available for several of these conditions, including corticosteroids, cytotoxic agents, immunosuppressive medications, and combination therapies. In recent years, our increased understanding of the pathogenesis of the rheumatologic disorders has culminated in the development of novel therapeutics – biological agents that offer great hope in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory rheumatologic disorder. Additionally, aggressive immunosuppression combined with stem-cell transplantation has emerged as a new treatment option for patients with certain severe rheumatologic disorders. The manifestations and clinical course of each disease are unique, so that every rheumatologic disorder has its own “window opportunity” for the specific treatment. As a result, identifying the most appropriate treatment and instituting it in a timely manner is essential.

Given the tremendous opportunity for unique cases and groundbreaking research ongoing within Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology, rheumatology rounds online allows providers outside Hopkins Medicine access to this educational venue, thereby maintaining the mission ofJohnsHopkinsUniversity : patient care, teaching and research.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for rheumatologists, fellows, residents, interns, and medical students.


After completion of this activity, the participant should be able to:

  1. Cite the key clinical features of rheumatic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, vasculitis, and otheres.
  2. Generate a differential diagnosis for clinical problems in rheumatology, including polyarthritis, muscle weakness, fever, multisystem disease/vasculitis, and others.
  3. Discuss alternatives in treatment/management in different clinical situations.
  4. Appreciate the importance of early intervention in managing disease and retarding disease progression (function, disability, organ system impairment, radiographic changes).
  5. Recognize recent advances in basic science and understanding of disease mechanisms.

Accreditation Statement

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ per session. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Policy on Speaker and Provider Disclosure

It is the policy of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine that the speaker and provider disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity, and also disclose discussions of unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices during their presentation(s). The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine OCME has established policies in place that will identify and resolve all conflicts of interest prior to this educational activity. Detailed disclosure will be made available on this site.

Notice About Off-Label Use Presentations

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine/Online Rheumatology Rounds Enduring Material may include presentations on drugs or devices, or use of drugs or devices, that have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or have been approved by the FDA for specific uses only. The FDA has stated that it is the responsibility of the physician to determine the FDA clearance status of each drug or device he or she wishes to use in clinical practice.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is committed to the free exchange of medical education.  Inclusion of any presentation in this program, including presentations on off-label uses, does not imply an endorsement by Johns Hopkins of the uses, products, or techniques presented.

Statement of Responsibility

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Method of Participation

This activity should take approximately 1 hour to complete. The participant should review the objectives and transcript, answer the multiple-choice post-test and complete an evaluation form online. A score of at least 70% is required to successfully complete the program.

Certificate of Attendance

To receive credit, please complete the online post-test and evaluation.  Passing score is required to obtain a certificate of attendance.

Copyright Information

All rights reserved. No part of this activity may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles or reviews.


All information contained within The Johns Hopkins Rheumatology Rounds Online is intended for educational purposes only. Physicians and other health care professionals are encouraged to consult other sources and confirm the information contained in this site because no single reference or service can take the place of medical training, education and experience. Consumers are cautioned that this site is not intended to provide medical advice about any specific medical condition they may have or treatment they may need and they are encouraged to call or see their physician or other health care provider promptly with any health related questions they may have.

Privacy Statement

The Department of Rheumatology and the Office of Continuing Medical Education (OCME) at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are committed to protect the privacy of its members and customers. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Department of Rheumatology maintains its website as an information resource and service for physicians, other health professionals and the public. The Office of Continuing Medical Education at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine will maintain the confidentiality of your personal information when you participate in a CME internet-based program. Your information will never be given to anyone outside of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s CME program. The Office of Continuing Medical Education collects only the information necessary to provide you with the services you request.

Acknowledgement: We wish to acknowledge Centocor for providing an educational grant in support of this online activity.

For Further Information

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Office of Continuing Medical Education
720 Rutland Avenue
Turner Building , Room 20
Baltimore , Maryland 21205-2195
(410) 955-2959
(410) 955-0807 FAX
Website: www.HopkinsCME.edu
Email: cmenet@jhmi.edu

Updated: March 21, 2012

Arthritis Center

About Arthritis Center

Founded in 1998, the Arthritis Center at Johns Hopkins is dedicated to providing quality education to patients and healthcare providers alike.