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Department of rheumatology

Prof. Dr. med. Harald Burkhardt
internal medicine and rheumatology

About the department

The department of rheumatology at University Hospital Frankfurt am Main of Goethe-University care for patients who suffer from the entire range of rheumatic conditions. The department is equipped with modern special wards for rheumatism patients and quality management in all supply areas is certified according to DIN EN ISO 2001:9000. Two laboratories are in use in the department: Rheumatological-immunological routine laboratory and Rheumatological research laboratory. The University Hospital is the seat of the Rhein-Main Rheumatism Center and a member of the Working Group of Regional Cooperative Rheumatism Centers (funded by BMG/BMBF). There is a separate study outpatient clinic for conducting clinical studies. Interdisciplinary clinical research (psoriatic arthritis, collagenases/vasculitides), as well as basic research, is carried out in close cooperation with the Department of adult and pediatric dermatology, venereology, and allergology. 

The activities performed at the department within the broad spectrum of diseases with musculoskeletal manifestations are in the area of ​​inflammatory rheumatic systemic diseases. Treatment includes day ward stays, the latest approaches within immunotherapy, and conservative drug prescription.

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Treatment and diagnostic focus of the department

  • Diagnostic features:
    • Autoimmune diagnostics (Quantitative and qualitative testing of antibodies)
    • Arthrosonography (ultrasound imaging of joints)
    • Low-field MRI diagnostics (soft tissue visualization)
    • Joint punctures with immediate microscopic examination of the synovial fluid
    • Sonography of different organs (sonography = ultrasound)
    • Echocardiography (ultrasound examination of the heart)
  • Rheumatic diseases:
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Reactive arthritis
    • Spondyloarthropathies (Bechterew's disease, psoriatic arthritis)
    • Gout
    • Hemochromatosis
    • Systemic autoimmune diseases/collagen diseases ( autoimmune diseases of the connective tissue such as systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis)
    • Vasculitides (inflammatory diseases of the blood vessels)
    • Adult-onset Still disease, AOSD
    • Periodic fever syndromes (familial Mediterranean fever, TRAPS, etc.) and many more
  • Treatment options:
    • Conservative (medications)
    • Therapy with monoclonal antibodies (immunotherapy)
    • Innovative antibody therapies as part of clinical trials
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Doctor profile


  • Employee in Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, project Group for translational medicine and pharmacology
  • 2006 Head of the Department of adult and pediatric rheumatology at University Hospital Frankfurt am Main of Goethe-University

Awards, memberships, publications

  • Author of 140 publications
  • Included in the Focus Top list of rheumatologists
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