19 June 2024

A brand new BSR guideline has begun development for diagnosis and management of systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease-related interstitial lung disease.

This new guideline was proposed to BSR in our annual call for new guideline topics and our Guidelines Steering Group (GSG) agreed that there was an unmet need for guidance in this area.

Interstitial lung diseases (ILD) comprise of a heterogeneous group of distinctive lung disorders characterised by inflammation and variable degrees of fibrosis of the lungs. Systemic autoimmune rheumatic disease (SARD) is a term which covers a broad spectrum of clinical conditions of autoimmune aetiology, in which ILD can develop and can have detrimental impact on morbidity and mortality. There are currently no UK guidelines related to the management of SARD-ILD and there is a concern that the condition may be underdiagnosed and consequently, undertreated.

This guideline will provide recommendations on the screening, diagnosis, monitoring and management of adults with SARD-ILD in the UK.

Guideline Steering Group (GSG) Chair, Muhammad Nisar, said:

Decisions about whether to initiate therapy for people with SARD-ILD are very difficult and should consider severity of disease, availability of effective therapies and patient preference. The clinician must consider a combination of subjective and objective measurements, so a guideline to inform our choice of therapy is pivotal to help manage care for people with this complex condition.””

The multidisciplinary GWG includes members across rheumatology and respiratory medicine. 

Nazia Chaudhuri, GWG Co-Chair, consultant respiratory physician and Chair of the British Thoracic Society interstitial and rare lung disease registry, said:

"It is great to be working with the BSR on this valuable guideline development. Pulmonary involvement in SARDs can have an adverse effect on a patient’s quality of life and contribute to mortality, thus highlighting the importance of timely clinical management and treatment. The recommendations will be welcomed by the ILD healthcare community and people with SARD-ILD."

The guideline will be developed using the methods and processes outlined in the  Creating Clinical Guidelines: British Society for Rheumatology Protocol. 

The full scope can be accessed now in the BSR open-access journal, Rheumatology Advances In Practice

The full guideline is expected to be published at the start of 2026.

Access all the BSR guidelines via the guidelines homepage.

Read the scope