Arthritis, Autoimmune Diseases
University of Iowa Children’s Hospital is home to Iowa’s only pediatric rheumatologists—doctors with the training, expertise, and experience to treat children and young adults with rheumatic diseases.
Rheumatic diseases refer to a wide range of disorders that, in general, affect the joints, muscles, spine, and skin. These diseases may present with pain, swelling, morning stiffness, fever, or rash. Pediatric rheumatic diseases result from uncontrolled inflammation, during which the body’s immune system attacks or hurts its own healthy cells and tissues. Examples include:
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly known as lupus or SLE)
- Scleroderma (“hard skin”)
- Dermatomyositis (muscle inflammation)
- Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
- Autoinflammatory syndromes, including periodic fever syndromes and chronic non-infectious osteomyelitis (bone infection)
Our doctors, nurses, and medical staff understand that pediatric rheumatic diseases are chronic, complex disorders that can severely affect a child’s growth, development, and quality of life. Early and proper diagnosis is key to treating symptoms and managing the disease.
Trust—from our young patients and their parents—is important. We work with our families’ referring pediatricians, and we collaborate with other UI Children’s Hospital specialists, therapists, and other staff as needed—drawing on the research, technology, and expertise available at one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals. We strive to make sure that families are comfortable, informed, and confident about the care their child receives.