The Rheumatology/Arthritis Department at BMC diagnoses and treats the full range of rheumatological and arthritic diseases and conditions.
Arthritis, Connective Tissue and Autoimmune Diseases
In the broad field of arthritic and rheumatic conditions, our rheumatologists have earned an international reputation for their leadership in treatment, research and education. Because there are so many types of arthritic conditions, successful treatment depends on the highly accurate diagnostic services we provide.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is the most common autoimmune disease to cause chronic inflammatory arthritis. We have been at the forefront in developing practice guidelines for the management of rheumatoid arthritis and monitoring its therapy. We can evaluate patients for appropriateness of less common therapy and work with you to manage it. We pioneered a unique, highly accurate system for measuring the progress of arthritis patients based on their own assessment of pain and disability. This type of outcome-oriented approach is now widely used at other arthritis centers.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease which causes fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. The Scleroderma Center is a collaboration of the Pulmonary and Rheumatology Departments. The Center is recognized internationally as a leader in scleroderma, and provides for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with Systemic Sclerosis.
Our scleroderma program, the largest in New England, offers the latest diagnostic and therapeutic measures available. We take a multidisciplinary approach for comprehensive evaluation and treatment of patients with all forms of scleroderma, with specialists in cardiology, pulmonology, dermatology, radiology, urology and others as needed. Our extensive research in this area includes exploration of basic connective tissue biology and evaluation of medications through clinical trials. Our program is a member of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium.
Vasculitis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation of blood vessels with organ and life threatening consequences. We have pioneered the development of the NIH sponsored Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium. We offer internationally recognized expertise in the evaluation and treatment of all forms of vasculitis.
Lupus is a multisystem autoimmune disease causing damage to multiple body organs, including joints, kidneys, skin, brain and others. Members of our staff helped develop the nationally accepted classification of systemic lupus erythematosus, which has made this formerly elusive connective tissue disease easier to diagnose. We pioneered various treatments for lupus, particularly at the stage when the disease begins to affect the kidneys. We work together with other specialists at Boston Medical Center to treat all the manifestations of this multi-system disease. Our active research efforts include clinical and epidemiological studies.
Boston Medical Center is an international referral center for the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of amyloidosis, a rare group of diseases caused by the abnormal accumulation of the protein amyloid in various parts of the body. We are one of only two centers nationwide that treat amyloidosis, and take a multidisciplinary approach to this multi-organ disorder. We coordinate our diagnosis and innovative treatments with other specialists at BMC, streamlining the process for the patient. Although amyloidosis is not cancer, the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at BMC pioneered the use of stem cell transplantation to successfully treat the primary form of the disease. Visit our Amyloid Treatment and Research Program website for more information.
Our arthritis specialists are among the nation’s leading researchers into osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. We helped define the role of weight loss and exercise in osteoarthritis treatment and have begun to study the effect of diet and nutritional supplements on symptoms. We work closely with orthopedic specialists at the Boston University Arthritis Center to help patients decide if they need surgery.
Other Rheumatic Conditions
We also offer diagnosis and treatment for soft tissue rheumatism including Raynaud’s disease, bursitis and tendonitis, shoulder, neck and knee problems, gout, and other disorders of bones, joints and muscles. We offer bedside musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging to help obtain faster diagnoses and deliver safer and more effective therapy. Other conditions in which we have expertise are infectious arthritis and Lyme disease. We are collaborating with colleagues in dermatology to provide cutting edge care for patients with psoriatic arthritis.
Whatever the diagnosis and treatment, we provide state-of-the art diagnostic and therapeutic services including musculoskeletal ultrasound, joint aspiration and injection, and diagnostic radiology. We also offer full service physical and occupational therapy when indicated.