Patients & Families

Our multi-disciplinary team is involved in the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of children with rheumatic diseases and primary immune deficiency disases.  More information can be found at the Emory-Children's Center web site.

Conditions Treated:
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Vasculitis
  • Scleroderma
  • Lyme disease
  • Pain amplification syndromes
  • Primary immune deficiency diseases

What are possible causes for pediatric arthritis and other rheumatic diseases?
  • Genetics and family history
  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Neurogenic disturbances
  • Metabolic disturbances
  • Excessive wear and tear and stress on a joint(s)
  • Environmental triggers
  • The influence of certain hormones on the body

What are a few symptoms of pediatric arthritis and other rheumatic diseases?
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling in one or more joints
  • Joint stiffness that lasts for at least one hour in the early morning
  • Chronic pain or tenderness in the joint(s)
  • Warmth and redness in the joint area
  • Limited movement in the affected joint(s)
  • Fatigue
  • Persistent fevers

What are some symptoms of a primary immune deficiency?
  • Recurrent infections
  • Unusual or severe infections
  • Infections with opportunistic microorganisms
  • Unexpected weight loss or failure to gain weght and height
  • Absence of lymph nodes
  • Persistant lymph node enlargemant

What imaging techniques are used to diagnose pediatric arthritis and other rheumatic diseases?
  • X-ray—a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film (arthrography is a specific x-ray of the joint).
  • Computerized tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan)—a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal and vertical cross-sectional images (often called "slices") of your child's body. A CAT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.

The Division also consults on patients with undiagnosed multisystem diseases and on patients with fever of unknown origin.

Referral for physical therapy, occupational therapy, ophthalmology, psychiatry and pain management can be arranged at the time of consultation.