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Our rheumatology team evaluates, diagnoses and treats the full range of childhood rheumatic diseases, including:
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) — Also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, this disease is diagnosed before age 16 based on swelling in one or more joints for at least six weeks. Other symptoms may include joint misalignment, bone erosion, muscle and soft tissue tightening and changes in growth patterns. Symptoms vary among individuals and can change daily.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) — A chronic autoimmune disease more common in females than males in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues. Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling and sensitivity to sunlight. About half of patients develop a rash across the bridge of the nose and cheeks, often called a “butterfly” rash. SLE can also affect the brain and nervous system, heart, lungs, kidneys or digestive tract.
- Juvenile dermatomyositis — A muscle disease characterized by a patchy red or purple skin rash that comes before, goes along with, or follows muscle inflammation (pain and swelling) and progressive weakness.
- Vasculitis — A group of rare diseases involving inflammation of blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries). There are different types of vasculitis, depending on the size of vessels and organs involved.
- Kawasaki’s disease — A type of vasculitis that affects small- or medium-sized blood vessels, including arteries that supply blood to the heart. Most common in children younger than 5, the disease’s initial symptoms include high and persistent fever; swollen lymph nodes; rash; peeling skin; red, cracked lips with “strawberry tongue”; and irritability.
- Inflammatory eye disorders — Inflammation of the eye. One common example is uveitis, which may cause redness, pain and blurred vision.
- Behcet’s syndrome — A rare disorder that may cause skin rashes, uveitis (described above), and mouth or genital sores. The symptoms seem unrelated but are due to blood vessel inflammation throughout the body.
- Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis) — A disorder that causes inflammation of blood vessels and then restricted blood flow to organs such as the kidneys. Symptoms affecting the respiratory tract, such as sinus pain, nosebleeds or pus-filled discharge, are often seen first.
- Raynaud’s phenomenon — Lack of blood flow in fingertips, toes or tip of the nose due to the narrowing of small arteries often in response to cold. This problem is common but in some situations can be the start of a rheumatic condition.
- Scleroderma — Hardening and tightening of the skin and, in some cases, the blood vessels, digestive tract and other internal organs
- Fever of unknown origin — Fevers with no known cause that last longer than two weeks or recur in episodes; many rheumatic diseases are accompanied by fevers.
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