Department of Advanced Medicine for Rheumatic Diseases

Hiromu Ito, M.D., Ph.D. Professor

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by a chronic polyarticular synovitis that leads to joint damage with disability. Department of Advanced Medicine for Rheumatic Diseases was established in April 2011 as a collaboration between physicians and orthopaedic surgeons. The department is dedicated to treatment, research and education on rheumatic diseases with arthritis. Our outpatient clinic (RA center) provides cutting-edge treatments to achieve a clinical remission and propose educational programs for co-medicals and patients.

Research and Education

Our goal is to cure or to control the disease activity of rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We conduct clinical and basic researches based on our comprehensive cohort system and RA sample center. Ongoing clinical researches are as follows: 1) identification of factors that lead to early diagnosis and prognosis of RA, 2) role of environmental factors for the initiation of rheumatic diseases, 3) roles of operative treatments on disease activity and functional prognosis. The topics of our basic research are as follows: 1) modification of autoimmunity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis by antirheumatic drugs, 2) development of RA treatment using stem cells, 3) roles of CD4 T cells in rheumatic diseases, 4) suppression of joint destruction by antirheumatic drugs, and more with the collaboration with relevant departments. Another important mission of our department is education of medical students, co-medicals, and patients via lectures and RA classes that lead to thorough understanding of the pathophysiology, care and treatments of rheumatic diseases.

Department of Advanced Medicine for Rheumatic Diseases consists of physicians and orthopaedic surgeons and provides optimal treatment for patients.




Ultrasound of joints for diagnosis and evaluation of rheumatoid arthritis

Recent Publications

  1. Nakabo S, Tsuji Y, Inagaki M, Tsuji H, Nakajima T, Murakami K, Terao C, Hashimoto M, Furu M, Tanaka M, Ito H, Mimori T, Fujii Y. Severe joint deformity and patient global assessment of disease are associated with discrepancies between sonographic and clinical remission: A cross-sectional study of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Mod Rheumatol. 2020 May 5:1-9.
  2. Minamino H, Katsushima M, Yoshida T, Hashimoto M, Fujita Y, Shirakashi M, Yamamoto W, Murakami K, Murata K, Nishitani K, Tanaka M, Ito H, Inagaki N, Matsuda S. Increased circulating adiponectin is an independent disease activity marker in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A cross-sectional study using the KURAMA database. PLoS One. 2020 Mar 3;15(3):e0229998.
  3. Doi K, Ito H, Tomizawa T, Murata K, Hashimoto M, Tanaka M, Murakami K, Nishitani K, Azukizawa M, Okahata A, Saito M, Mimori T, Matsuda S. Oral steroid decreases the progression of joint destruction of large joints in the lower extremities in rheumatoid arthritis. Medicine. 2019;98(47):e17968.
  4. Ishikawa Y, Hashimoto M, Ito H, Tanaka M, Yukawa N, Fujii T, Yamamoto W, Mimori T, Terao C. Anti-nuclear antibody development is associated with poor treatment response to biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism. 2019;49(2):204-10.
  5. Ishikawa Y, Ikari K, Hashimoto M, Ohmura K, Tanaka M, Ito H, Taniguchi A, Yamanaka H, Mimori T, Terao C. Shared epitope defines distinct associations of cigarette smoking with levels of anticitrullinated protein antibody and rheumatoid factor. Annals of the rheumatic diseases. 2019;78(11):1480-7.


Professor: Hiromu Ito
Associate Professor: Masao Tanaka
Senior Lecturer: Motomu Hashimoto
Assistant Professor: Koichi Murata
Assistant Professor: Ryu Watanabe
Researcher: Natsuki Yamamoto