Juvenile Myositis Center

Specialized Juvenile Myositis Care

Children with myositis (inflammation of the muscles) can now receive specialized care through the Juvenile Myositis Center at Cincinnati Children's. As a Cure JM site, Cincinnati Children’s collaborates with the country’s largest foundation supporting myositis patients. Our multidisciplinary team offers expert guidance in the evaluation, diagnosis and management of patients with myositis.

Collaborative and Cutting-Edge Care

On the leading edge of myositis treatment, the Myositis Clinic offers comprehensive care. Rheumatologists (physicians with special training in rheumatic/autoimmune disease) collaborate with specialists from across Cincinnati Children’s who have expertise in evaluating and treating myositis, including:

  • Clinical pharmacists - assess each patient for medication side effects and interactions and optimize the amount of medication used for myositis treatment
  • Dermatologists - help make sure rashes on the face and extremities, which are common with some forms of myositis, like dermatomyositis, are treated
  • Neurologists - provide expertise for myositis that is not autoimmune
  • Occupational therapists - evaluate and improve your child’s strength and functioning in their daily activities
  • Pathologists - help with the evaluation and diagnosis of myositis including evaluation of findings in muscle biopsies, when needed
  • Physical therapists - evaluate and improve your child’s strength and functioning in their daily activities
  • Radiologists - help with the evaluation and diagnosis of myositis through imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Social workers - assist families in working with schools and accessing needed resources

Cincinnati Children’s Division of Rheumatology has its own embedded nutritionists, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and other services. Any patient coming to the Myositis Clinic will also have access to these services.

Patients coming to the Myositis Clinic can also participate in clinical research. Cincinnati Children’s specialists are leaders in innovative research in pediatric rheumatology. The clinic is also home to the Cincinnati Myositis Registry, which enrolls patients and collects data and samples, such as blood and urine, to learn about myositis outcomes over time, biomarkers for use in clinical care and research, and understanding treatment response. In particular, understanding and researching these biomarkers can lead to improvements in how we care for individual patients.

Further, as members of the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), our patients can participate in international studies on juvenile dermatomyositis, including being part of a North American registry. We also participate in international clinical trials that are aimed to test new medications for the treatment of myositis.

Conditions We Treat

Rheumatology specialists collaborate with providers from other specialties to treat a variety of myositis conditions, including:

Cincinnati Children’s also accepts adult patients with these conditions.  

Treatments and Services

The Myositis Clinic provides multidisciplinary, specialized care for your child’s unique needs. Treatments and services include:

  • Medication—including systemic immunosuppressants like steroids
  • Physical and occupational therapy—to help improve strength, function and mobility; therapists with expertise in muscle weakness are embedded within the rheumatology team
  • Dermatology—to treat areas for rashes and other skin involvement
  • Radiology and pathology—for imaging and biopsies to help diagnose and understand how patients’ muscles are being affected
  • Clinical and translational research—to provide opportunities to participate in research, including national studies

What to Expect

Patients may come to the Myositis Clinic through a referral from another physician or directly through Cincinnati Children’s Division of Rheumatology.

Once in the clinic, patients will receive an expert clinical examination by pediatric rheumatology providers. Other tests could include lab testing, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or muscle biopsy, and an evaluation by a physical therapist to assess physical functioning and identify exercises to improve strength.

Patients return to the clinic for regular monitoring to understand the state of their condition as well as physical therapy or other treatment.