CME: Autoantibody Testing for Connective Tissue Diseases: Primary Care Update

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Autoantibody Testing for Connective Tissue Diseases: Primary Care Update

Autoimmune experts discuss autoantibody testing for connective tissue diseases and how tests like ANA can be used in the primary care setting.

Available credits: 0.75

Time to complete: 45 minutes


Valid until:

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  • Overview

    This innovative, 30-minute, online activity features a Video Expert Dialogue with two prominent faculty covering important, timely issues and data related to the detection of autoimmune (AI) disorders. The emphasis is on the unique role primary care providers play in diagnosing and managing AI and maximizing patient care. Topics include:

    • Overview of connective tissue diseases and ANA testing
    • ANA IFA and ELISA
    • New tests
    • Subserologies with IFA
    • Choosing wisely about ANA testing
    • Diagnosis of RA, Sjögren’s, Lupus, and Systemic Sclerosis
    • Titer Information
    • Negative ANA testing
    • When to refer

    We’ll be discussing autoantibody testing for autoimmune diseases, or more precisely, connective tissue diseases. Our purpose here is to discuss how autoantibody testing, such as the ANA, may be used in the primary care setting to diagnose these disorders. Using the ANA test combined with a good medical exam and a good history, along with signs and symptoms of connective tissue diseases, will help to achieve greater benefits in diagnosing and treating patients.

  • Provider(s)/Educational Partner(s)

    Jointly provided by Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Medtelligence.

    This activity is supported by an independent educational grant by Quest Diagnostics.

  • Target Audience

    This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of primary care and internal medicine physicians, rheumatologists, and other healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients with autoimmune diseases.

  • Educational Objectives

    After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

    • Discuss the current trends in autoimmune disorder diagnosis by primary care providers, including etiology, risk assessment, and importance of early diagnosis 
    • Relate the clinical evidence for the association of biomarkers such as antinuclear antibody (ANA) presence, CCP antibody, 14-3-3η protein, and proper testing algorithms
    • Demonstrate the ability to diagnosis rheumatic diseases when ANA testing is negative
    • Evaluate and utilize current biomarkers for diagnosis of early RA
    • Discuss the new types of biomarker testing available for diagnosing rheumatic diseases and how to interpret the tests
  • Faculty

    Robert A. Baldor, MD
    Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School
    Senior Vice-Chair, Family Medicine & Community Health
    UMass Memorial Medical Center
    Worcester, MA

    Chadwick R. Johr, MD
    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
    Perelman School of Medicine
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, PA

  • Accreditation and Credit Designation Statements

    Joint Accreditation Statement

    In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Medtelligence.  Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

    Physician Continuing Medical Education

    The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates this enduring activity for a maximum of .75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

  • Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

    Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (PIM) requires instructors, planners, managers and other individuals who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest (COI) they may have as related to the content of this activity. All identified COI are thoroughly vetted and resolved according to PIM policy.  PIM is committed to providing its learners with high quality CME activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.

    The faculty reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity:

    • Dr. Baldor: No financial relationships
    • Dr. Johr: No financial relationships

    The planners and managers reported the following financial relationships or relationships to products or devices they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this CME activity:

    The following PIM planners and managers, Trace Hutchison, PharmD, Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CHCP, Judi Smelker-Mitchek, RN, BSN, and Jan Schultz, MSN, RN, CHCP, hereby state that they or their spouse/life partner do not have any financial relationships or relationships to products or devices with any commercial interest related to the content of this activity of any amount during the past 12 months.

    Medtelligence: Ben Caref, PhD; Pamela Clark – No financial relationships or relationships to products or devices with any commercial interest related to the content of this activity of any amount during the past 12 months.

  • Method of Participation and Request for Credit

    There are no fees for participating and receiving CME credit for this activity. During the period March 26, 2018 through March 26, 2019, participants must read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures and study the educational activity. 

    If you wish to receive acknowledgment for completing this activity, complete the activity, post test and evaluation. Participants who successfully complete the activity, post test, and evaluation will have a statement of credit made available immediately.

    If you have any questions regarding the CME certification of this activity, please contact Postgraduate Institute for Medicine at: or (303) 799-1930.

  • Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

    This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.

    The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners.  Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

  • Disclaimer

    Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications and/or dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

  • System Requirements

    Our site requires a computer, tablet or mobile device and a connection to the Internet. For best results, a high-speed Internet connection is recommended (DSL/cable). We also recommend using the latest version of your favorite browser to ensure compliance with W3C standards, such as Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Users accustomed to IE8, IE9 IE10 are advised to update their browsers for the best experience.

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