University Hospital Erlangen

location_on Erlangen, Germany
9.1/10 from 51 Votes

Department of Rheumatology (289961)

Georg Schett

Prof. Dr. med.

Georg Schett

Specialized in: rheumatology

About the Department of Rheumatology at University Hospital Erlangen

The Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital Erlangen offers the full range of medical services for the prevention, diagnostics and treatment of rheumatic diseases. The department specializes in conservative treatment of inflammatory, degenerative and dystrophic joint diseases, as well as systemic connective tissue diseases. Without timely treatment, rheumatic diseases often affect internal organs, including the heart and kidneys. In this case, therapy is provided in cooperation with highly specialized doctors. The main weapon of the department's rheumatologists is drug therapy based on the use of modern biological drugs, physiotherapy, therapeutic exercises, ergotherapy, balneotherapy. With severe joint damage, doctors resort to arthroscopic interventions and joint replacement surgery. Such surgical procedures are performed by a team of orthopaedic surgeons. Treatment is prescribed in accordance with current clinical protocols, on an individual basis, and therefore doctors achieve high treatment success rates. The Chief Physician of the department is Prof. Dr. med. Georg Schett.

The department is one of 18 medical facilities in Europe awarded with the prestigious European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) certification. This testifies to the high competence of doctors and the excellent technical resources of the department. The medical facility not only has advanced experience in the treatment of rheumatic diseases, but has also achieved outstanding results in the research area in this field.

Accurate and comprehensive differential diagnosis plays a decisive role in the success of the treatment of rheumatic pathologies. First of all, the attending physician studies the patient's medical history and listens to his complaints, after which he prescribes the complex of required diagnostic tests. The main diagnostic procedures for detecting rheumatic pathology include radiography, ultrasound examinations and laboratory tests. With appropriate clinical indications, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, skeletal scintigraphy, joint puncture with synovial fluid sampling and other tests are also carried out.

With all the diagnostic data, doctors begin to develop an individual treatment regimen. Pharmacotherapy and physiotherapy procedures are an integral part of the therapeutic protocol. The department also uses such effective treatment methods as radiosynoviorthesis (intra-articular administration of radiopharmaceuticals), intra-articular injection therapy, and shock wave therapy. If conservative methods do not give a satisfactory result, and the patient cannot get rid of the pain syndrome, as well as other manifestations of rheumatic pathology, the department's specialists prescribe the necessary surgical interventions.

The department has exceptional competence in the diagnostics and treatment of the following diseases:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Diagnostics
      • Clinical examination of the joints for pain and swelling
      • Assessment of inflammatory indicators and rheumatoid factor
      • Determination of autoantibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptide
      • Imaging methods: X-ray, sonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging
    • Therapy
      • Drug therapy with methotrexate
      • Combination drug therapy (glucocorticosteroids and methotrexate) at the initial stages of pathology
      • Biologics
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (Bekhterev's disease)
    • Diagnostics
      • Diagnostics for back pain, other symptoms and hereditary predisposition
      • Assessment of erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein level testing
      • HLA-B27 blood test
      • Imaging methods: X-ray, sonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging
    • Therapy
      • Intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (for example, ibuprofen and diclofenac)
      • Glucocorticoids
      • Biologics
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
    • Diagnostics
      • Clinical examination of the skin and joints
      • Determination of various autoantibodies and other immunological changes in the blood
      • Urinalysis
    • Therapy
      • Drug therapy, including biologics
  • Systemic scleroderma
    • Diagnostics
      • Study of the anamnesis
      • Physical examination
      • Capillary microscopy
      • Special laboratory tests
    • Therapy
      • Organ-specific therapy
  • Dermatomyositis
    • Diagnostics
      • Clinical examination of the skin lesions
      • Muscle activity measurement using electromyography
      • Determination of inflammatory markers
      • Determination of antibody levels
      • Imaging methods: X-ray, sonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging
    • Therapy
      • Glucocorticoids
      • Immunoglobulins
      • Various immunosuppressants (for example, methotrexate and azathioprine)
  • Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
    • Diagnostics
      • Classical joint examination for pain and swelling to assess disease activity
      • Diagnostics of functional spinal limitations 
      • Determination of rheumatoid factor levels and antibody levels to cyclic citrullinated peptide
      • Determination of uric acid levels in the blood
      • Determination of inflammatory marker levels
      • Imaging methods: X-ray, sonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging
    • Therapy
      • Systemic immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate and cyclosporine
      • Biologics, such as rituximab, abatacept, and tocilizumab
      • Physiotherapy with apremilast
  • Gout
    • Diagnostics
      • Clinical examination of the joints for pain and swelling
      • Determination of inflammatory marker levels
      • Determination of uric acid levels in the blood
      • Imaging methods: X-ray, sonography, dual-energy computed tomography
      • Synovial fluid puncture, if necessary
    • Therapy
      • Anti-inflammatory drugs (including diclofenac, indomethacin)
      • Glucocorticoids, such as prednisone
      • Colchicine
      • Physiotherapy and short-term immobilization of the affected joints
  • Sjogren's syndrome
    • Diagnostics
      • Clinical examination to determine disease activity using European classification criteria
      • Determination of antibody levels and rheumatoid factor levels
      • Determination of inflammatory marker levels
      • Schirmer's test
      • Examination and assessment of stimulated saliva secretion
      • Salivary and lacrimal gland biopsy
      • Differentiation with other salivary gland diseases and tumors, as well as viral infections
    • Therapy
      • Drug therapy adapted to the particular clinical case
  • Immunoglobulin G4-associated diseases
    • Diagnostics
      • Differential diagnosis
    • Therapy
      • Drug therapy (glucocorticoids)
  • Infectious arthritis (such as Lyme disease)
  • Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica
  • ANCA associated vasculitis
  • Other rheumatic diseases, diagnostic and therapeutic methods

Curriculum vitae of Prof. Dr. med. Georg Schett

Higher Education and Professional Career

  • Study of Medicine at the University of Innsbruck, graduated in 1994. 
  • 1994 - 1996 Postdoctoral research scholarship at the Institute for Biomedical Aging Research of the Austrian Academy of Science in Innsbruck.
  • 1996 - 2001 Training in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology in the Department of Internal Medicine III, University Hospital Vienna.
  • Since 2001 Board certification in Internal Medicine.
  • 2002 - 2003 Assistant Professor at the Medical University of Vienna.
  • Since 2003 Board certification in Rheumatology and Immunology.
  • 2003 Habilitation in Internal Medicine.
  • 2004 Research Fellow in Pharmaceutical Industry. 
  • 2005 - 2006 Assistant Professor at the Medical University of Vienna. 
  • Since 2006 Professor for Internal Medicine and Head of the Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital Erlangen.

Projects and Other Activities

  • 2008 Initiated the IMMUNOBONE Priority Program funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Germany.
  • Since 2015 Head of the Collaborative Research Centre in Erlangen of the German Research Foundation. 
  • Coordinator of the METARTHROS Project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Scientific Awards, Prizes and Honors

  • 1996 Prize of the Austrian Society of Immunology and Allergology.
  • 1998 Anton von Eiselsberg Prize of the Van Swieten Society.
  • 1999 Paracelsus Prize of the Austrian Society of Internal Medicine.
  • 1999 Scientific Prize.
  • 2001 State Prize for Rheumatology of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
  • 2001 Aventis Prize.
  • 2002 START Prize of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
  • 2004 Billroth Prize.
  • 2008 DAdorW Prize.
  • 2009 Visiting Professor, University of California, San Diego, USA.
  • 2011 Outstanding Clinical Research Award of the European Society for Clinical Investigation (ESCI).

Memberships in National and International Societies

  • Austrian Society of Rheumatology.
  • German Society of Rheumatology.
  • German Society of Immunology.
  • German Society of Internal Medicine.
  • European League Against Rheumatism.
  • American College of Rheumatology.
  • American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
  • American Association of Immunologists.
  • New York Academy of Sciences.
  • Henry Kunkel Society.

Photo of the doctor: (c) Universitätsklinikum Erlangen

Department of Rheumatology.
University Hospital Erlangen:

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