young children running on the playground

Pediatric Autoimmune Disease & Rheumatology

At UVA Health Children's, we provide care for infants, children, and teens with rheumatic diseases. Autoimmune (rheumatic) diseases occur when your immune system starts to attack your body's healthy cells, tissues, and organs.

Although autoimmune disease is rare in children, many conditions have similar symptoms and diagnosis can be challenging.  

We offer appointments through doctor referrals only

Conditions We Treat

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis/chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CRMO/CNO)
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA)
  • Graves' disease (hyperthyroidism)
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (juvenile idiopathic arthritis)
  • Periodic fever syndromes 
  • Psoriatic arthritis 
  • Sarcoidosis

Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases

Your child may experience vague symptoms, including:

  • Tiredness/fatigue
  • Long-term or repeated fevers
  • Rashes
  • Weight loss
  • Joint swelling, stiffness or pain

For the most part, autoimmune diseases are chronic and need lifelong monitoring and care. But medication can help reduce or stop the damage caused by some diseases. Our physicians can help your child transition from pediatric care to adult care.

A Rare Disease

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), or Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is a rare disease that causes blood vessel walls to become inflamed, called vasculitis. This limits blood flow to tissues and can affect any organ.

Without treatment, GPA can be fatal. Our team is experienced in diagnosing and treating this condition early to make sure your child’s organs continue to work properly.

Medications can reduce your child’s symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. In severe cases, your child may need a kidney transplant.