Gout Leaders Best Practice Forum

What are the aims of the programme?

The Gout Leaders Best Practice Forum was designed around three goals:

•   Challenge attitudes: the impact of gout on a patient’s quality of life is seriously underestimated by physicians and the public, and misconceptions surround the condition. Gout Leaders asks rheumatologists to see gout as a serious condition that can have a significant impact on their patients’ lives, and to ensure patients receive the education they need in order to fully understand their condition and its treatment.
•   Increase knowledge: Gout Leaders encourages rheumatologists to look beyond the acute effects of gout flares, and to always treat the underlying condition. This includes discussing urate-lowering therapy with every gout patient, even after the first flare, and utilising imaging and other diagnostic techniques to ensure they have a full picture of the level of disease activity in their patients.
•   Improve skills: The benefits of lowering serum uric acid to target levels are well-documented, yet in practice many patients are not receiving regular monitoring or optimisation of their treatment. Gout Leaders offers attendees the information they need to feel confident in regularly monitoring their patients, and in adjusting their management strategies to help each patient achieve lower serum uric acid levels and clinical improvements in their condition.

What has happened so far?

A meeting was held on 22–23 June 2018 in Milan, Italy, for an audience of 28 rheumatologists from Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. The four internationally known faculty members (Prof Leonardo Punzi, Prof Fernando Peréz-Ruiz, Dr Tim Jansen and Prof Alexander So) gave presentations on subjects ranging from ‘Rheumatological comorbidities associated with gout and hyperuricemia’ to ‘Treat to target and monitor regularly’.

The key focus of the meeting, however, was the discussion sessions, based around real case studies submitted by the delegates. These breakout sessions gave the group an opportunity to review and discuss the challenging clinical cases submitted by their peers, and the management strategies that could have been used.

Finally, the meeting closed with ‘consensus discussion’ plenary session. Moderated by the faculty, the whole audience were able to give their views on 5 key topics in gout. These included the role of imaging in diagnosis, the benefits of an intensive treatment approach compared to a conservative one, and the definition of ‘remission’ in gout.