20 November 2019

Disneyland for rheumatologists

Dr David Liew, a rheumatologist at Austin Hospital in Victoria, is at ‘Disneyland’ for rheumatologists – the annual meeting for ACR in Atlanta, Georgia.

“The kind of conversations that you have here are the kind of conversations that are hard to have elsewhere,” he tells Rheumatology Republic reporter Penny Durham.

Australia is “leading the field or certainly up there” in terms of using PET CT in polymyalgia rheumatica, he says.

Another positive development from Australia reported at the conference was the success of the EVOLVE guidelines.

In ANA-negative patients, doctors shouldn’t order anti dsDNA antibody tests unless there were features consistent with lupus, says Dr Liew.

“It’s something that we’ve really been trying to emphasise to our generalist colleagues,” he says. “And our data show the campaign worked. In our centre, at least, there was an incredible drop off in inappropriate double stranded DNA ordering.”