Neonatal Rheumatology: Understanding and Managing Rheumatic Conditions in Infants

Author(s): Feuchtner Gudrun

Neonatal rheumatology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and management of rheumatic diseases in newborn infants. Rheumatic diseases in neonates encompass a broad range of conditions, including inflammatory disorders, autoimmune diseases, and systemic vasculitides. Although relatively rare, these conditions can have significant implications for the affected infants and their families. This abstract provides an overview of neonatal rheumatology, highlighting key aspects of the field, including epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic approaches, and therapeutic strategies. The incidence of rheumatic diseases in neonates is relatively low, with certain conditions, such as neonatal lupus erythematosus and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, being more commonly encountered. However, due to the complexity and overlap of symptoms, diagnosis in neonates can be challenging and often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving pediatric rheumatologists, neonatologists, and other specialists. The clinical presentation of rheumatic diseases in neonates varies widely, and symptoms can manifest in different organ systems, including the skin, joints, heart, and lungs. In some cases, neonates may present with non-specific signs such as fever, rash, or poor feeding, making early recognition and diagnosis crucial for appropriate management.