Comorbidities in Valley Fever & Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Department of Medicine Research Spotlight

Assistant Professor, Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
Associate Program Director, Rheumatology Fellowship
Member, University of Arizona Arthritis Center

The major research interest of Dominck Sudano, MD, is the diagnosis and management of coccidioidomycoses (cocci)—better known as Valley Fever—in patients with rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, which causes progressive joint deterioration and pain in millions of Americans. Many are treated with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), corticosteroids and biologic response modifiers (BRMs, or biologics). In the U.S. Southwest, cocci is an endemic fungal infection. It typically presents as a self-limited pulmonary illness. 

x-ray of hand showing effects of rheumatoid arthritisPatients with autoimmune diseases who are on DMARDs or biologics are at higher risk of more severe infection or infection disseminated outside the thoracic cavity. Currently, there are no management guidelines for cocci in such patients.

Dr. Sudano joined the faculty at the UA Arthritis Center and Division of Rheumatology after completing his fellowship in rheumatology here in 2014. He also completed his residency training here. He has written several articles on topics ranging from successful treatment of neuro-Behçet’s disease with infliximab, exon skipping mutations in collagen, new molecular mechanisms in muscular dystrophy, and comparative analyses of gene-expression patterns in human and African great ape cultured fibroblasts.

Release Date: 
04/28/2016 - 8:45am