The Division of Rheumatology focuses its educational, research and patient care efforts on the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases. The diseases include the many forms of arthritis; the connective tissue diseases (Spondyloarthritis, Scleroderma, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis); localized pain syndromes-tendinitis, bursitis and metabolic bone disorders such as osteoporosis. All patients are evaluated by one of the faculty Rheumatologists. Treatment modalities include anti-rheumatic medications, soft tissue and joint injections, and physical therapy.

The Division has a special interest in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (lupus), Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis); Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögren’s Syndrome, Polymyositis, Dermatomyositis, Spondyloarthritis (such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis and other spondyloarthritides), Vasculitis and rheumatic conditions related to HIV infection. Many of these are “autoimmune” disorders, in which the body’s immune system appears to attack the patient’s own joints, skin, muscles or internal organs. It is estimated that autoimmune disorders affect approximately 5% of the U.S. population, including patients from all of the diverse ethnic backgrounds represented in the Houston area.

The UTHealth Rheumatologists are leaders in diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases and in the search for the genetic basis of many autoimmune disorders. Identifying the genes, which predispose to these disorders, is a major step in identifying the cause and the development of effective treatments.