Although close collaboration with a variety of specialists outside of rheumatology is important, you could make the case for rheumatologists and pulmonologists having to work together even more closely. If lung symptoms are severe and not under control, the results could be fatal.
Explore this issueJune 2015
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However, the question sometimes is when to refer—even when there are not any evident lung symptoms and the patient’s rheumatic disease is well controlled with therapy.
Rheumatologists and pulmonologists have a great deal of clinical crossover for conditions like interstitial lung disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension in scleroderma and vasculitides (see sidebar, below).