Pediatric Lupus Clinic
The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital provides services and opportunities to help children, adolescents and teens with systemic lupus erythematosus (also known as SLE, or just “lupus").
Our Circle of Support
Our team of specialists helps you manage your child's illness, along with the support of a community of other patients and parents.
What to Expect
Symptoms of lupus can vary widely from person to person and may include any combination of:
- Achy, stiff or painful joints
- Weight loss
- Skin rash
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Hair loss
- Mouth or nose sores
- Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress
- Changes in urine
- Blood clots
- Seizures or other neurological changes
Additionally, blood work can show anemia, low white blood cell or platelets, positive antibodies, blood or protein in urine, or elevated inflammatory markers.
It is important to know that everyone person with lupus does not have all of these symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is no one test to diagnose lupus.
Diagnosis is often difficult, because lupus affects each person differently. With symptoms that can vary so broadly — and because lupus is rare in children — confirming a diagnosis can take time.
Steps to diagnose lupus include:
- Answering questions about your child’s health and medical history
- A physical exam performed by your child’s doctor
- Blood testing
- Urine testing
Our experts develop personalized treatment plans based on a thorough assessment of each child’s individual needs.
Treatment starts with medication that helps to suppress the immune system and decrease inflammation.
Your child’s treatment plan may also include:
- Blood thinners
- Blood pressure medication
- Physical therapy
At Comer Children's our comprehensive approach to lupus care offers many benefits for children and their families, including:
- Help with managing complicated medication schedules
- Counseling on lifestyle changes like nutrition, rest and exercise
- Advice on communicating with school, teachers and peers
- Opportunities to participate in research
Your child will have a 90-minute visit every three months in the clinic, but may see their rheumatologist or other doctors more often than that.
Your child's appointment will be located on the fourth floor of Comer Children’s Hospital in Hyde Park.
The clinic covers the cost of your parking or public transportation, as well as a snack.
On the first visit, you and your child will meet with a nurse educator who can help your family better understand and manage your child's disease.
We offer opportunities for you to meet with other children and parents who have lupus. These include social activities, both in-person and virtual, and educational sessions.
Meet Our Pediatric Rheumatology Team