Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Clinic
School Of Medicine, University Of Crete



The Rheumatology Clinic at the University Hospital in Heraklion-Crete, is the reference center for systemic autoimmune diseases in the island of Crete and South Aegean.

Our goal is to:

  - Offer high quality health care to patients with rheumatic diseases
  - Promote the research in the field of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases
  - Train young physicians in the field systemic autoimmune diseases.

It is the first autonomous University Rheumatology Clinic in Greece. It has a capacity of 12 beds, served by a lecturer, 2 rheumatologists and 4 fellows. In order to meet the clinical and research needs we have trained 4 nurses in the care of chronic rheumatic patients.

The number of patients in the Clinic has markedly increased in the last 10 years. In 2014, we served 13.200 patients compared to 2.937 total visits in 2003!

In order to offer medical services of high standards, the Clinic has developed innovative activities such as:

  - Day-care unit for providing immunosuppressive and biological therapies (cytokine inhibitors, co-stimulation inhibitors (CTLA4lg), B-lymphocyte depletion).
  - Early arthritis clinic.
  - Dedicated outpatients’ clinics (SLE, systemic sclerosis, Family Mediterranean Fever, systemic vasculitis).
  - Application of musculoskeletal ultrasound and capillaroscopy in the daily clinical practice.

One of our main interests is the clinical research. For that purpose, we participate in clinical trials for innovative drugs (phase II-IV trials) and we have achieved collaboration with other centres in Greece and abroad by taking part in epidemiological and pharmacoeconomics studies, in the registry of biological therapies and in the formulation of guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of systemic autoimmune diseases.

In parallel we are involved in studies of basic-translational research. We are closely collaborating with the laboratory of Rheumatology, Autoimmune and Inlfammation in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete. Our aim is to study the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases, the impact of new biological therapies on the biology of the organism (hematopoiesis, atherosclerosis). Therefore, we have become partners of National and European research projects (FP6, FP7, NSRF) and we are in close collaboration with the Foundation for Research and Technology (FoRTH) in Crete, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biothechnology (IMBB) and the Institute of Computer Science (ICS).

Finally, one of the main goals of the Clinic is to promote education and training. We participate in the medical training of pre-graduate medical students, rheumatology fellows and in the continuing medical education of rheumatologists and other specialties.