The Pediatric Rheumatology Tissue Repository (PRTR) is a national resource, available to investigators within  the research base specifically, and to those conducting  multi-center studies in pediatric rheumatology. This core provides uniform acquisition and storage of patient and control samples for research purposes, and training to outside centers to ensure smooth and consistent functioning in collection among participating sites. The PRTR also can provide procurement and processing of samples as required by investigator-initiated protocols.

The principal functions of this Core are:

  • To collect, process and maintain biological specimens from patients with pediatric rheumatological and related musculoskeletal conditions as well as from relevant control populations for research purposes.

    The types of specimens stored include:
    • DNA for genetic studies
    • RNA derived from whole blood, PBMC, SFMC or tissue for expression studies
    • Synovial fluid samples stored as synovial fluid supernatants and synovial fluid lymphocytes
    • Peripheral blood lymphocytes, sera and plasma for biological and immunological studies
    • EBV immortalized cells, for replenishing DNA stores
    • Tissues, including synovial tissue and muscle tissue for histological analysis
  • To optimize availability and potential for use of sample collections. This includes the development of standard practices for collection, processing and storage, when possible, consistent with local – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, national – Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) and international – Understanding Childhood Arthritis Network (UCAN) standards to facilitate large-scale studies of pediatric rheumatic diseases. Organization of collections via a “core” results in cost savings. In addition, storage protocols will be optimized to preserve stability of labile samples.
  • To provide high quality samples in an appropriate format for investigators conducting IRB-approved basic and translational studies in pediatric rheumatologic disease. This will be done by tracking specimens, study information, consent information and necessary clinical/phenotypic classification using software supported by the Cincinnati Children's Division of Biomedical Informatics.  This is critical to realizing the future vision for integration of research and clinical databases based on open source compatible standard platforms such as the NIH-supported i2b2 framework and connectivity to CARRA users.

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