Thoracic complications of connective tissue diseases

Chairs: Athol Wells & Chris Denton

The connective tissue disorders (CTDs), also called collagen vascular diseases (CVDs), represent a group of immunologically-mediated inflammatory disorders with highly heterogeneous patterns of organ involvement.

Lung involvement and pulmonary vasculopathy are common and make a major contribution to mortality and morbidity, especially in systemic sclerosis and polymyositis (PM)/dermatomyositis (DM). However, no consensus exists with regard to a number of key clinical issues related to the definition, detection, staging, monitoring and treatment of thoracic complications of CTDs. This Task Force proposes a practical approach to CTD-associated lung disease by focusing on commonly encountered problems in the management of this complex and heterogeneous patient population.