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Systemic sclerosis: The need for structured care


Morrisroe, Kathleen; Frech, Tracy; Schniering, Janine; Maurer, Britta; Nikpour, Mandana (2016). Systemic sclerosis: The need for structured care. Best Practice & Research. Clinical Rheumatology, 30(1):3-21.

Abstract

Autoimmune connective tissue diseases (CTDs) have a propensity to affect multiple organ systems as well as physical function, quality of life, and survival. Their clinical heterogeneity, multisystem involvement, and low worldwide prevalence present challenges for researchers to establish a study design to help better understand the course and outcomes of CTDs. Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a notable example of a CTD, wherein longitudinal cohort studies (LCS) have enabled us to elucidate disease manifestations, disease course, and risk and prognostic factors for clinically important outcomes, by embedding research in clinical practice. Nevertheless, further efforts are needed to better understand SSc especially with regard to recognizing organ involvement early, developing new therapies, optimizing the use of existing therapies, and defining treatment targets. The heterogeneous multi-organ nature of SSc would lend itself well to a structured model of care, wherein step-up treatment algorithms are used with the goal of attaining a prespecified treatment target. In this chapter, we discuss the rationale for a structured treatment approach in SSc and propose possible treatment algorithms for three of the more common disease manifestations, namely skin involvement, digital ulcers and gastrointestinal tract involvement. We discuss possible strategies for evaluating and implementing these algorithms in the setting of LCS. We conclude by presenting a research agenda for the development of structured models of care in SSc.

Abstract

Autoimmune connective tissue diseases (CTDs) have a propensity to affect multiple organ systems as well as physical function, quality of life, and survival. Their clinical heterogeneity, multisystem involvement, and low worldwide prevalence present challenges for researchers to establish a study design to help better understand the course and outcomes of CTDs. Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a notable example of a CTD, wherein longitudinal cohort studies (LCS) have enabled us to elucidate disease manifestations, disease course, and risk and prognostic factors for clinically important outcomes, by embedding research in clinical practice. Nevertheless, further efforts are needed to better understand SSc especially with regard to recognizing organ involvement early, developing new therapies, optimizing the use of existing therapies, and defining treatment targets. The heterogeneous multi-organ nature of SSc would lend itself well to a structured model of care, wherein step-up treatment algorithms are used with the goal of attaining a prespecified treatment target. In this chapter, we discuss the rationale for a structured treatment approach in SSc and propose possible treatment algorithms for three of the more common disease manifestations, namely skin involvement, digital ulcers and gastrointestinal tract involvement. We discuss possible strategies for evaluating and implementing these algorithms in the setting of LCS. We conclude by presenting a research agenda for the development of structured models of care in SSc.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:February 2016
Deposited On:28 Mar 2017 12:19
Last Modified:29 Mar 2017 08:06
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1521-6942
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2016.04.004
PubMed ID:27421213

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