Rheumatology is a highly specialized field. The word “Rheuma” originates from Greek.  It means flowing current. This might sound strange as it does not refer to any specific organ or tissue. Hence, this is a field that is not well known. However, it involves an important category of diseases, that are often difficult to diagnose. Rheumatology involves immune related disorders, primarily of the musculoskeletal system. Examples are, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Another category of diseases that come under this field is connective tissue disorders such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome, Systemic Sclerosis and the inflammatory myopathies. In addition, rheumatologists also manage crystal associated joint diseases, namely gout and chondrocalcinosis. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative disorder of the joints and soft tissue diseases, such as fibromyalgia and chronic regional pain complex syndromes also fall within rheumatology.

As this is a highly focussed field, most patients are referred. University Malaya Specialist Centre is  a private medical centre affiliated to the premier medical university in Malaysia (University Malaya) that provides rheumatology services to the general public. Currently there are 3 rheumatologists.

University Malaya Specialist Centre provides comprehensive diagnostic and management services in rheumatology that involves:

  • Diagnosis based on clinical, laboratory and imaging modalities.
  • Long-term management and follow up of patients living with these diseases
  • Multi-disciplinary diagnostic and management of multiple organ diseases which includes ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear imaging techniques.
  • Treatment with latest medications such as monoclonal antibodies (biologics) and small molecules.

The Rheumatology unit has been in operation since 2006. The rheumatologists are also involved in providing clinical services at the public hospital, i.e the adjacent University Malaya Medical Centre. In addition they are deeply involved in under graduate and post graduate teaching.  They are all active in research and have a significant number of publications in peer reviewed journals. They are also involved in international and corporate collaborations and have numerous speaking engagements both in Malaysia and abroad.

The rheumatology unit of University Malaya Specialist Centre also provides rheumatology services to international patients, who make up about 10{83f4848b07ce7d13e085e2ba988e7732b80316586ddda63b37ff5beee618a829} of the people seeking treatment here.


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