Mediterr J Rheumatol 2020;31(Suppl 2):247-52
The Rheumatologist’s Role in the Battle Against COVID-19: Insights from the Front Line and Challenges for the Future
Authors Information

1. Department of Rheumatology, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley, West Midlands, United Kingdom
2. Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Solna, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Christos Koutsianas, Katerina Chatzidionysiou


As the worldwide burden of COVID-19 increases exponentially, healthcare systems are plagued by unprecedented pressure. In this setting, many rheumatologists across the globe have been recruited to support the front line, facing several unexpected challenges, but also providing valuable skills in combating COVID-19. At the same time, the rheumatic disease patient population may be especially vulnerable to such a rapidly contagious infectious disease, and thus needs care and support that has to be provided quickly and efficiently. Clear advice on viral spread mitigation, precise guidelines on immunosuppressive treatment use, and alternative methods of providing care, such as telemedicine, are a few of the rheumatologists’ new challenges in caring for their patients in the COVID-19 era. Finally, among other specialties, rheumatologists hold a unique place in the fight against the hyperinflammatory state caused by severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Given their vast experience in the use of biologic and targeted therapies, rheumatologists should lead the way in developing reliable scientific evidence for the optimal treatment of severe COVID-19.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY). 

©Koutsianas C, Chatzidionysiou K.

Article Submitted: 22 Jun 2020; Article Accepted: 15 Jul 2020; Available Online: 21 Sep 2020