Skip to main content
Sign In

Liron Caplan MD, PHD

Assitant Professor of Medicine

Divisional efforts in clinical outcomes and health services research headed by Dr. Caplan. His major interest is in pharmacoepidemiology and he has focused on the toxicities of therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (including use of steroids) as well as the development of autoimmune pulmonary disease. His expertise extends to use of large administrative datasets and the creation of registries. Along with David Collier, he has developing a longitudinal scleroderma database, and is an investigator with the Veterans Affairs Rheumatoid Arthritis registry and the Program to Understand the Longterm Outcomes in SpondyloARthritis (PULSAR) registry.



University of Colorado Denver; PhD. Health Services Research. Denver, CO


St. Louis University School of Public Health; Epidemiology and Biostatistics. St. Louis, MO


Washington University; Rheumatology Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship. St. Louis, MO


Washinton University; Rheumatology Fellowship (Clinical). St Louis, MO


Emory University; Internal Medicine Internship/Residency. Atlanta, GA





Executive Committee Member, Program to Understand the Longterm Outcomes in SpondyloARthritis (PULSAR) registry


Member, American College of Rheumatology Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Disease Activity Measures Working Group


Site Principle Investigator, Program to Understand the Longterm Outcomes in SpondyloARthritis (PULSAR) registry 


Coordinator, Rheumatology Division Medical Student Mentored Scholarly Activity and Resident research rotation


Core Investigator and founding member, Pharmaco-Epidemiology Collaborative of Colorado (PECoC)


Member, American College of Rheumatology/Research and Education Foundation Preceptorship Award Study Section (A)


Site Principle Investigator, Veterans Affairs Rheumatoid Arthritis registry


Core Investigator, Colorado Research Enhancement Award Program to Improve Care


Member, American College of Rheumatology Quality Measures Subcommittee


Member, Rocky Mountain Chapter Mission Delivery Committee, Arthritis Foundation


Consultant (paid), American College of Rheumatology Ad Hoc Committee on Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis


Member, University Physicians, Inc. Electronic Medical Record Subcommittee


Electronic Health Record Implementation Coordinator, Division of Rheumatology, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, CO


Diplomat, American Board of Internal Medicine, Certification in Rheumatology

2005, 2007-

Member, Board of Directors, National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, Arthritis Research Center Foundation, Wichita, KS


Diplomat, American Board of Internal Medicine, Certification in Internal Medicine


Member, American College of Rheumatology


 2006-present Electronic Health Record Implemenation Coordinator, Division of Rheumatology,  University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, CO
 2006-present Affiliate Investigator, Colorado Research Enhancement Award Program to Improve Care for Veterans. Denver, CO
 2005-present Assistant Professor of Medicine/Rheumatology, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
 2003-2005 Hospitalist, Gold Medical Service, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO
 1994-1995 Research Assistant, Dept. of Cellular Biology, University of Texas Medical School Houston , TX




2005 American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation Clinical Investigator    Fellowship Award
2003, 2004 National Institutes of Health Rheumatology Training Grant (T32)
2004 NYU Advanced Seminar in Rheumatology Travel Award Scholarship
2004 American College of Rheumatology Fellow Award
2003 Centocor Health Outcomes in Rheumatic Diseases (CHORD) Fellowship Grant



Dr. Caplan is a rheumatologist and Staff Physician at the University of Colorado Hospital as well as the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He has a doctoral degree in Health Services Research from the University of Colorado Graduate School. 

Dr. Caplan engages in clinically-oriented epidemiologic and health service research within the field of pharmacoepidemiology and autoimmunity/rheumatology. 

Areas of interest include retrospective analysis of databases, as well as prospective data collection and analysis. 

Dr. Caplan’s has worked with the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases, focusing on the pharmacoepidemiology of steroids in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), as well as pulmonary complications of RA and its treatment.

Representative Publications:

1.    Elami A, Caplan L, Rudis E.  How do you spell 21 mm?  Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 1999;16(2):253-254. PMID: 10485433

2.    Hron J, Caplan L (Co-first author), Gerth A, Schwartzberg P, Peng S.  SH2D1A regulates T-dependent humoral autoimmunity. J Exp Med 2004;200(2):261-266. PMID: 15263031

3.    Wolfe F, Caplan L, Michaud K.  Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Risk of Hospitalization for Pneumonia: Associations with Prednisone, Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs and Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy. Arthritis Rheum 2006; 54(2):628-634.  PMID: 16447241 

4.    Wolfe F, Caplan L, Michaud K.  Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment and the Risk of Severe Interstitial Lung Disease. Scand J Rheum 2007; 36(3):172-178. PMID: 17657669

5.    Caplan L, Wolfe F, Russell, Michaud K. Corticosteroid use in rheumatoid arthritis:  Prevalence, predictors, correlates and outcomes. J Rheumatol 2007; 34:696-705. PMID: 17299838

6.    Caplan L, Hoffecker L, Prochazka AV. Ethics in the rheumatology literature: a systematic review. Arthritis Rheum [Arthritis Care and Research] 2008;59(6):816-821. PMID: 18512718

7.    Caplan L, Saag KG. Glucocorticoids and the Risk of Osteoporosis. Expert Opin Drug Saf 2009; 8 (1):33-47. PMID: 19236216

8.    McDonald JR, Zeringue AL, Caplan L, Ranganathan P, Xian H, Burroughs TE, Fraser VJ, Cunningham F, Eisen SA. Herpes zoster risk and risk factors in a national cohort of veterans with rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Infect Dis. 2009 May 15;48(10):1364-71. PMID: 19368499

9.    Scherrer JF, Virgo KS, Zeringue A, Bucholz KK, Jacob T, Johnson RG, True WR, Carney RM, Freedland KE, Xian H, Caplan L, McDonald J, Eisen SA. Depression increases risk of incident myocardial infarction among Veterans Administration patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2009 Jul-Aug;31(4):353-9. PMID: 19555796

10.  Michaud K, Mikuls TR, Call SE, Reimold AM, Hooker R, Kerr GS, Richards JS, Caplan L, Cannon GW. Poor to modest agreement between rheumatoid arthritis response measures in clinical practice. Clin Exp Rheumatol 2009 Jul-Aug;27(4):633-40. PMID: 19772796

11.  Richards JS, Peng J, Mikuls TR, Amdur RL, Hooker RS, Michaud K, Reimold AM, Cannon GW, Caplan L, Johnson D, Hines AE, Kerr GS. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and evaluation of the Osteoporosis Self Assessment Tool in men with rheumatoid arthritis. J Clin Densitom 2009;12(4):434-440. PMID: 19775920

12.  Caplan L, Pittman CB, Zeringue AL, Scherrer JF, Wehmeier KR, Cunningham FE, Eisen SA, McDonald JR. Musculoskeletal pain among patients on bisphosphonates:  a possible adverse drug reaction. Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 Apr;85(4):341-8. PMID: 20231335

13.  Hirsh JM, Boyle DJ, Collier DH, Oxenfeld A, Caplan L. Health literacy predicts the discrepancy between patient and provider global assessments of rheumatoid arthritis activity at a public urban rheumatology clinic. J Rheumatol. 2010 May;37(5):961-6. PMID: 20231210

14.  Miriovsky BJ, Michaud K, Thiele GM, O’Dell JR, Cannon GW, Kerr GS, Richards JS, Johnson D, Caplan L, Reimold AM, Hooker RS, Mikuls TR. Anti-CCP antibody and rheumatoid factor concentrations predict greater disease activity in men with rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Jul;69(7):1292-7. PMID: 20439294

15.  Caplan L, Hines AE, Williams E, Prochazka AV, Saag KG, Cunningham F, Hutt E. An observational study of glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis prophylaxis in a national cohort of

male veterans with rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoporosis International 2010 (Accepted). PMID: 20358362

16.  Lane MA, McDonald JR, Zeringue AL, Caplan L, Curtis JR, Ranganathan P, Eisen SA. Hospitalization for infection in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Medicine 2010 (Accepted).

17.  Davis LA, Larson MM, Caplan L. Observational study to determine predictors of rheumatology clinic visit provider contact time. Arthritis Care and Research 2010 (Accepted). PMID: 20583104

18.  Mikuls TR, Fay BT, Michaud K, Sayles H, Thiele GM, Caplan L, Johnson D, Richards JS, Kerr GS, Cannon GW, Reimold A. Mortality in U.S. veteran men with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the VARA registry. Rheumatology 2010 (Accepted)

19.  Kerr GS, Sabahi I, Richards JS, Caplan L, Cannon GW, Reimold A, Thiele GM, Johnson D, Mikuls TR. Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency in rheumatoid arthritis and associations with disease severity and activity. J Rheumatol. 2010 (Accepted).

20.  Grossman JM, Gordon R, Ranganath VK, Deal C, Caplan L, Chen W, Curtis JR, Furst DE, McMahon M, Patkar NM, Volkmann E, Saag KG. American College of Rheumatology 2010 recommendations for the prevention and treatment of glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Arthritis Care and Research 2010 (Accepted).