Care for rheumatic and autoimmune disorders and their effect on children

Rheumatic and autoimmune diseases can affect various parts of a child’s body, including joints, muscles, and connective tissues. At Maimonides Children’s Hospital, we’ve made great strides in advanced pediatric rheumatology and autoimmune care. Our rheumatologists have years of experience specializing in the care of children and adolescents with a variety of vascular, bone, and joint disorders. Our expert team of nurse practitioners and nurses is at your service, dedicated to your child’s well-being.

Through a combination of leading-edge treatments and therapies, our team will work with you and your child to create a care plan that is tailored to their specific needs. We understand that these disorders can have a significant impact on your child’s quality of life, and we are committed to providing the highest level of pediatric medical services possible.

If you believe your child may be experiencing symptoms of a rheumatic or autoimmune disorder, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at 718-283-7500.

Conditions we treat

Rheumatic diseases are often complex, and our team is prepared to treat a wide range of conditions. Some of the most common conditions we see include:

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF)

This condition is caused by a streptococcal infection, such as strep throat or scarlet fever. It typically affects children between the ages of 5 and 15. Symptoms of ARF can include fever, joint pain, rash, and shortness of breath. If left untreated, ARF can lead to serious complications, such as heart valve damage.

Autoimmune encephalitis

This condition occurs when the immune system attacks the brain and central nervous system. Symptoms can include seizures, sleepiness, changes in mood or behavior, and difficulty speaking.

Hypermobility syndrome

Children with this condition have joints that move beyond the normal range. They may also experience joint pain, fatigue, and skin problems.

Juvenile dermatomyositis

Skin rash and muscle weakness are the most common symptoms of this condition, which typically affects children between the ages of 5 and 15. It can also lead to other complications, such as lung inflammation.

Juvenile lupus

This chronic autoimmune disorder can affect many different parts of the body, including the skin, joints, and organs. Symptoms can include fatigue, fever, joint pain, and a butterfly-shaped rash on the face.

Lyme disease

A rash in a bullseye shape is the most distinctive symptom of Lyme disease, which is caused by a tick bite. Other symptoms can include fever, joint pain, and fatigue. Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose, so it’s important to see a doctor if you suspect your child may have it.

Raynaud’s disease

This condition causes the blood vessels to narrow, leading to decreased blood flow. Symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and coldness in the fingers and toes. In some cases, Raynaud’s disease can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as lupus.


This condition results in the hardening and tightening of the skin. It can also affect the blood vessels, lungs, and other organs. Symptoms can include joint pain, fatigue, and Raynaud’s phenomenon (narrowing of the blood vessels).


Vasculitis is a catch-all term for conditions that involve inflammation of the blood vessels. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on the affected organs. Some common symptoms include fatigue, fever, and joint pain.

Treatments we offer

Depending on the condition, treatments for rheumatic diseases can include:

  • Complete diagnostic capabilities and treatment
  • Laboratory and radiologic testing
  • Thorough education about the condition for the child and family
  • Inpatient and outpatient care
  • Coordination of care with other specialists as needed

Call (718) 283-7500 to make an appointment with Maimonides Children’s Hospital 

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