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Connective Tissue Clinic

About Us

The Multidisciplinary Connective Tissue Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital is the South's only multispecialty clinic for the treatment of congenital connective tissue diseases, and it is centrally located, making access convenient for patients from any location in the United States. The multidisciplinary Connective Tissue Clinic (CTC) has been developed to diagnose and treat patients with congenital connective tissue diseases in a patient-centered setting.

Congenital connective diseases can successfully be treated, but it's important to keep in mind these are rare and complex disorders that require expert care. In addition to providing world-class, comprehensive care for our patients, ACH has been recognized by the National Marfan Foundation and is one of only 10 centers in the nation recognized for treatment of Williams Syndrome.

ACH is also actively involved in ongoing clinical and translational research to improve the care and outcomes of patients with connective tissue diseases via the Arteriopathy-Associated Connective Tissue Diseases Study and Registry. The study and registry allow the physicians involved in the Connective Tissue Clinic to work together to answer important questions that will help improve the care of patients with connective tissue diseases, not only in Arkansas but also around the world.

About our Experts

All of the physicians in the Multidisciplinary Connective Tissue Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital hold faculty appointments in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, Arkansas' only medical school. The faculty in the Connective Tissue Clinic have won numerous teaching awards and take great pride in training the doctors of tomorrow.

The Multidisciplinary Connective Tissue Clinic at ACH aims to improve the complex care of patients with connective tissue diseases by training tomorrow's doctors to be able to diagnose, treat, and manage these patients. This teaching mission will allow the Connective Tissue Clinic to improve the care of patients with connective tissue diseases wherever our trainees may eventually practice medicine.

Conditions we Treat

The congenital connective tissue diseases treated by the specialists in the Arkansas Children's Hospital Connective Tissue Clinic include:

Marfan Syndrome is a disorder involving the body's connective tissue. A defective (FBN1) gene associated with Marfan syndrome affects the formation of a protein in connective tissue called fibrillin, which impacts the integrity of many organs and structures in the body.
» Visit the Marfan Syndrome website.

Loeys-Dietz Syndrome is a disorder due to a defective cellular receptor, either transforming growth factor ß–receptor 1 or 2 (TGFBR 1 or 2). TGFBR 1 and 2 are cell receptors that receive important signals that direct cell growth, specialization, movement, and cell death.
» Visit the Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Foundation website.

Williams Syndrome is a multisystem disorder involving connective tissue and the central nervous system. The connective tissue that is affected in Williams syndrome is called elastin, a structural protein in the cardiovascular system and soft tissues (skin and joints).
» Visit the Williams Syndrome Association website.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a group of disorders involving an important connective tissue known as collagen. Defective genes can cause problems with the collagen that is formed by the body, which impacts the integrity of many organs and structures in the body.
» Visit the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation website.

Familial Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection (FTAAD) Syndrome is a recently described disorder involving the aorta, the large artery that carries blood from the heart. In FTAAD, defective genes can cause the aorta to be weakened. Weakening of the layers of the wall of the arteries leads to an increase

Arterial Tortuosity Syndrome (ATS) is a rare connective tissue disorder that results from a defect in a glucose transporter in the cells. The defect in the glucose transporter 10 (GLUT10) results in a change in the transforming growth factor-ß (TGF- ß) pathway, which leads to abnormalities in the arterial wall. Disruption of the elastic fibers in the middle layer of the arterial wall results in tortuosity, elongation, stenosis and aneurysms in major arteries.

Non-syndromic Supravalvar Aortic Stenosis/Elastin Arteriopathy syndrome is a disorder involving the connective tissue called elastin. Elastin Arteriopathy syndrome occurs when there is an abnormality in the elastin gene, which is on one of the chromosomes (chromosome 7). The abnormality in elastin results in the manifestations of Elastin Arteriopathy syndrome. Elastin is a structural protein in the cardiovascular system and soft tissues (skin and joints).

News and Resources

Appointments

Centrally Located, Convenient Access from Anywhere in the United States.

The services of the multidisciplinary Connective Tissue Clinic at Arkansas Children's Hospital are delivered in the Cardiology Clinic located on the 2nd floor of the main hospital, 1 Children's Way, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
View Map

To refer a patient call:

Appointments – (501) 364-4000
Physician Access Line – 1-800-777-7700 or (501) 364-5901
Cardiology Office – (501) 364-1479
Office hours – Monday, 8:00 a.m to 4:30 p.m.
Email Contact - eamartin@uams.edu

Connective Tissue Clinic (CTC)

What are congenital connective tissue diseases and how common are they?

Congenital connective tissue diseases occur in one in every 2,500 live births. They may appear in a number of ways, but most commonly it is the form of a cardiovascular condition, which can be life-threatening. Depending on the specific type of connective tissue disease, it could impact a wide variety of other organ systems. We often see problems with the skeletal system, kidneys, lungs, and eyes. There may also be problems with learning.

My child sees a lot of different medical specialists. How does the CTC work and how will it help my child?

The CTC at Arkansas Children's Hospital has the expertise of a large, multispecialty team. We provide patient-focused, family-centered care, and are ready to deliver the best possible care for your child. With this in mind, we have developed the CTC so that our patients, who usually have multiple doctor visits on different days, can now see all of their doctors in one single day. This prevents our patients from missing school, and helps so that parents do not have to miss a lot of days from the jobs.

Each team member knows your child's care plan and makes recommendations for care that are consistent with those given by other team members. This provides consistent, coordinated care within the entire team and we work with you and your referring doctor every step of the way.

How many services are involved?

The CTC includes all under one roof for your child. Including: Behavioral and developmental pediatrics; Cardiology; Dentistry; Endocrinology; Gastroenterology; Genetics; Nephrology and hypertension; Ophthalmology; Orthopedic surgery; Pulmonology; and Urology.

What can I expect during my child's appointment at the CTC?

We understand that no two children are alike. At the CTC, we develop individualized care plans based around the needs of your child and your family. The initial evaluation gives us an opportunity to introduce you and your child to our team members and start your child's treatment plan.

1 Children's Way
Little Rock, Arkansas

Appointments:
(501) 364-1479

Physician Access Line:
800-777-7700 or
(501) 364-5901

Cardiology Office:
(501) 364-1479

Office Hours:
Monday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM

Email:
eamartin@uams.edu

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» Heart Center


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