The Unit of Medicine and Rheumatology treats patients with various rheumatological diseases, mainly involving the joints, including:
- rheumatoid arthritis and early-stage arthritis,
- psoriatic arthritis,
- ankylosing spondylitis and other forms of spondyloarthritis,
- hand osteoarthrosis,
Specialist visits, arthrocenteses and articular infiltrations are currently performed, with several types of medications. In case of clinical manifestations suggesting an inflammation, an osteoarticular echography is programmed, having proved itself to be much more sensible than traditional radiography for what concerns the study of the cartilage, the synovial membrane and its vascularization, especially for what concerns the early identification of bone lesions (erosions). In the presence of Raynaud's phenomenon, a capillaroscopy is programmed. A therapy with biotechnological drugs is also administered when advisable for the patient.
The Unit also offers psychological support, through a psychotherapeutic path which is presently active for patients with Systemic Sclerosis, with the intention to extend it to other rheumatic diseases.
In addition, the main connective tissue diseases or collagen-vascular diseases are diagnosed and treated, including:
- systemic lupus erythematosus,
- systemic sclerosis,
- Sjogren's syndrome,
- Polymyalgia rheumatic/Horton's arteritis.
Our Structure can receive patients with articular swelling and pain and with other "unspecific" symptoms, such as fever of unknown origin, erythematous-papular-type cutaneous manifestations, uveitis; patients with Raynaud's disease or paresthesias (“tinglings”) that are not ascribable to mechanical issues or neurological syndromes. In addition, elderly patients with intense myalgia, severe stiffness or cephalalgia must be promptly sent to our Center for a possible diagnosis of Polymyalgia Rheumatica, with or without the presence of Horton’s temporal arteritis.
The Medicine and Rheumatology Unit also performs consulting on internal medicine at the orthopedic wards of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute.
Clinical research: The research activity mainly focuses on the identification of sonographic characteristics and their diagnostic and prognostic importance in joint diseases (arthritis and osteoarthritis), thanks to the collaboration with other Italian rheumatologic Centers.
Particularly studied are the sonographic characteristics that suggest an early onset of joint diseases, their secondary modifications over time (in patients with hand osteoarthrosis) and the treatment with background therapy or biological drugs (in patients with arthrosis). In addition, currently ongoing are a study conducted on patients suffering from hand osteoarthrosis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, where different imaging methodologies are confronted; a study on sleep alterations in patients with arthritis, in collaboration with the Italian National Institute of Health and the Bellaria Hospital and Research and Care Institute of Bologna.
Experimental research: The research activity is performed in collaboration with the Laboratory of Immunorheumatology and tissue regeneration and with the Laboratory of Musculoskeletal cell biology of the Institute. The main research topics are:
- genetics of hand osteoarthritis;
- pathophysiology of chondrocytes and cartilage damage in osteoarthritis;
- biomarkers in osteoarthrosis and in arthritis (with the support of the Ministry of Health);
- pathogenesis and biomarkers in polymyalgia rheumatica;
- immunohistological characterization of the synovial membrane in osteoarthrosis and inflammatory arthropathies.
for organizational information: monday to friday, 10am to 1pm
for medical information: monday to friday, 3.30pm to 5.30pm