Voice of APLAR_Issue #1 | Page 2


APLAR Editorial Board
• Zhanguo Li
Associate Editors
• Yoshiya Tanaka
• Jose Paulo Lorenzo
• Humeira Badsha
• Shikta Dey
Executive Associate Editor
• Yue Yang
Advisory Board
• Syed Atiqul Haq
• Debashish Danda
• Kazuhiko Yamamoto
• Kevin Pile
• Rohini Handa
• Chak-Sing Lau
• Ho-Youn Kim
• Temy Mo Yin Mok
• Shue-Fen Luo
• Yeong Wook Song
• Xiaofeng Zeng
• Swan Sim Yeap
• Dae Hyun Yoo
• Lai-Shan Tam
Board members
• Shamim Ahmed
• Chi-Cheng Zhang
• Nazrul Islam
• James Wei
• Wenchan Tsai
• Tsutoma Takeuchi
• Worawit Louthrenoo
• Arvind Chopra
• Lisa Stamp
• Layla Kazkaz
• Lami Hamijoyo
• Sami Salman
• Tohira Umer
• Yan Zhao
• Fereydoun Davatchi
• Shamim Ahmed
• Therese Natividad
• Padmanabha Shenoy
• Anna Rubio
• YK Cheng
• Zimba Olena
To our fellow rheumatologists ,

With great pleasure we welcome you to the Voice of APLAR newsletter , a quarterly publication dedicated to the field of rheumatology in the Asia- Pacific region . As the name suggests , the aim of this newsletter is to provide a voice or forum for rheumatology professionals from various cultures , backgrounds and research fields , to not only share and discuss their clinical experiences but also help build professional networks . It will promote a sense of community across the region .

Each issue will provide expert insights about practice-changing advances , profile upcoming leaders in the field , as well as outline APLAR ’ s calendar of activities and programs . Apart from being a peer-reviewed publication , the Voice of APLAR is intended to be a light and leisurely read that captures a snapshot of topics related to the life of a rheumatologist from all corners of Asia-Pacific region .
I thank all the editorial board members and our colleagues for providing valuable feedback during the pre-development survey . I would also extend our gratitude to all guest contributors , without whom this newsletter would not have been possible . Voice of APLAR will be inclusive of a diverse range of views , and welcomes articles of original research , reviews , case studies , critical commentaries and works-in-progress .
In this issue , our first article features insights from Prof Kei Ikeda who explains the role and considerations of ultrasound technology to diagnose patients with rheumatic diseases in Japan . It will likely come as no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a common talking point across the region and as a result , is a key topic covered in this issue . Dr Irwin Lim from Australia discusses potential interactions between COVID-19 vaccines and immunosuppressive rheumatic therapies . We also explore how the Pakistan Society of Rheumatology has approached the COVID-19 situation and share the captivating life journey of Dr Shahida Perveen . Finally , this is followed by a report on the updated APLAR consensus statements on care for patients with rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic , in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases .
If you are interested in becoming a contributor to future issues , we would be excited to hear from you . Please send us correspondence outlining your topic of interest and we will respond as soon as possible following a review .
Zhanguo Li
secretariat @ aplar . org


Ultrasound – a simple , cheap , and effective approach for the early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
Professor Kei Ikeda

Most of us view Japan as one of the leading countries in technology with access to highly advanced diagnostic tools such as MRI , CT , and PET scans . And yet , many Japanese rheumatologists are using a simple , cheap , and effective tool to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis – ultrasound . Not only is ultrasound useful to visualise joint inflammation , it also provides an opportunity to make a diagnosis before functional damage manifests .

In a recent interview , Prof Kei Ikeda , a rheumatologist at Chiba University , shared his clinical experience about the use of ultrasound for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis . Read on to find out more about Dr Ikeda and how he applies this technique in practice .