Rheumatic diseases vary and can be complex, with more than 100 types of arthritis alone. There are also rare rheumatic illnesses that people can get or inherit.
UPMC rheumatologists diagnose and treat the full range of rheumatic diseases.
Having a joint or autoimmune issue affects your life and keeps you from the activities you enjoy.
That's why we offer specialty care, even for the rarest rheumatic illnesses.
Our team will work with you to create a unique treatment plan for the type of disease you have.
Rheumatology Services at UPMC
We work with many other experts to diagnose, treat, and closely monitor rheumatic diseases.
Tests for rheumatic diseases
Within rheumatology, we put a strong emphasis on diagnostic testing.
This is because diagnosing a rheumatic issue can be a bit like working on a puzzle.
Rheumatologists use tests to look for signs that can help them make sense of your symptoms.
Some of the tests your doctor may order include:
- Blood tests. These look for markers of inflammation and let us check your kidney and liver function.
- Imaging tests. Not all rheumatic diseases have blood markers. X-rays, CT scans, MRI, and ultrasound let us look for signs of disease in your joints and organs.
- Neuro exams. Nerve conduction and electromyography studies look for nerve and muscle damage.
- Heart tests. An echocardiogram shows blood flow through the heart and checks for high blood pressure that affects arteries in the lungs.
We offer a range of treatments.
Based on your rheumatic illness, treatments may include:
- Medicine. Rheumatologists prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine and drugs that try to slow down the disease.
- Physical therapy (PT). Not all treatment involves medicine. PT can help manage symptoms so you move around better.
Combined disease clinics at UPMC
Rheumatic illnesses can affect more than one area of your body. This is why we partner with other experts at UPMC.
When you come to a combined clinic, you can see a UPMC rheumatologist and a specialist in:
- Skin problems.
- Kidney trouble.
- Eye diseases.
- Lung and breathing issues.
Our Rheumatic Disease Specialty Centers
- Lupus. Lupus can affect any part of the body and cause painful periods of illness called flares. We help people manage all aspects of this disease.
- Myositis. With myositis, the body attacks its own muscle tissue. We offer expert care for this rare disease.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the body's immune system attacks healthy joints and organs. We help people manage RA symptoms and slow down the disease.
- Scleroderma. Scleroderma is a hardening and thickening of the skin. And it can also affect other organs. It's a rare disease, but our doctors are leaders in treating it.
- Systemic Autoinflammatory Diseases (SAIDs). SAIDs are a group of rare immune system diseases that cause episodes of inflammation. We have expertise in diagnosing and treating SAIDs in both children and adults.
- Vasculitis. A rare disease, vasculitis makes blood vessels swell, causing severe health problems. We're one of only nine hospitals in the U.S. to have a designated Vasculitis Center.
- Women's and Reproductive Health Rheumatology. We recognize the importance of understanding how rheumatic diseases affect the reproductive health of women. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing specialized care that addresses the unique health needs of women.
Contact UPMC Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology