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The Arthritis Program at Toronto Western Hospital hosted rheumatologists from around the globe last week at an International Preceptorship on Spondyloarthritis.
Spondyloarthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine, and joints but can also impact the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract. The most common types of Spondyloarthritis are ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis which together affect more than 500,000 Canadians.
"Management of spondyloarthritis or SpA is very complex," said Dr. Robert Inman, Medical Director of UHN's Arthritis Program. "That's why it's so important to have an opportunity to share information and learn from one another about the disease."
The preceptorship event was supported by Novartis and included lectures from clinicians and researchers in UHN's Arthritis Program and attracted a total of 65 rheumatologists from around the world, including many from Chile, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines and Canada.
"It is rare to have this level of multidisciplinary expertise in one place," said Dr. Inman, who helped organize the event along with Dr. Nigil Haroon, Co-Director of the Spondylitis Program at UHN, as well as Dr. Dafna Gladman and Dr. Vinod Chandran, Co-Directors of the Psoriatic Arthritis Program at UHN.
"UHN should be proud we can showcase such an exceptional group of leaders in the arthritis field," Dr. Inman said. "We had speakers from Rheumatology, Orthopedic Surgery, Physiotherapy, Medical Imaging, Pediatrics, Dermatology, Ophthalmology and Gastroenterology."
Topics of discussion at the three-day event, which took place at the BMO Conference Centre, included diagnosis, imaging and early detection, treatment goals, medical therapy, pathogenesis and non-pharmacological treatments as well as surgical management.
"This event is important for helping us develop earlier diagnosis, better phenotyping and improving our ability to intervene with precision medicine," said Dr. Inman. "It is another way that the Arthritis Program at UHN is achieving global impact"