Musculoskeletal Medicine

Musculoskeletal Medicine

Musculoskeletal Disease affects one in three Irish people. Rheumatology is the medical specialty which principally focuses on the care of the 2% of the population who suffer from chronic autoimmune inflammatory arthritis, connective tissues disease and vasculitis. In addition the Dept of Rheumatology provides specialist care for all patients with other musculoskeletal diseases including osteoarthritis, gout, regional musculoskeletal disorders, soft tissue rheumatism and metabolic bone disease.

The Department of Rheumatology is based at Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin 24 and St James’s Hospital, Dublin 8. Both sites have specialist Rapid Access Early Inflammatory Arthritis Clinics, Interdisciplinary Connective Tissue Disease clinics and General Rheumatology clinics. In addition a Musculoskeletal Ultrasound clinic offering state of the art musculoskeletal imaging is based at Tallaght University Hospital.

The Dept of Rheumatology is involved at all stages of Undergraduate Clinical Medicine education offering specific undergraduate rotations within the Dept which provides comprehensive Rheumatology and General Internal Medicine exposure in addition to formal teaching in the clinical years and an integrated final year Rheumatology programme to consolidate Rheumatology undergraduate teaching.

Opportunities for undergraduate research are provided and the Dept is currently involved in The National Rheumatology Curriculum project which will establish the standards for medical education in Rheumatology in Ireland.

The Department of Rheumatology is part of the postgraduate General Internal Medicine training programme at Tallaght University Hospital and St James’s Hospital. Postgraduate trainees on this programme rotate through the specialty in addition to regular formal and bedside postgraduate teaching sessions in order to prepare for MRCPI examinations.

Professor Cunnane is The National Director of Postgraduate Rheumatology Specialist Training and both centres provide training for specialisation in Rheumatology.

The National programme for training in Musculoskeletal ultrasound is run by Professor Kane at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Ultrasound at Tallaght Hospital and the Centre participates in international training through the European Union League Against Rheumatism Working Party on Musculoskeletal Imaging. Research programmes exist at both centres with active research programmes in Early Inflammatory Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Imaging.


  • Inflammatory Arthritis
  • Ultrasound Imaging in Rheumatology
  • Bone Health
  • Connective Tissue Diseases
  • Molecular mechanisms of synovial inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Common inflammatory mechanisms of systemic autoimmune disease
  • Metabolic syndrome and ageing.


Reliability of ultrasonography in detecting shoulder disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Bruyn GA, Naredo E, Möller I, Moragues C, Garrido J, de Bock GH, d'Agostino MA, Filippucci E, Iagnocco A, Backhaus M, Swen WA, Balint P, Pineda C, Milutinovic S, Kane D, Kaeley G, Narvaez FJ, Wakefield RJ, Narvaez JA, de Augustin J, Schmidt WA.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2009 Mar;68(3):357-61. Epub 2008 Apr 4.

Early diagnosis of bilateral sub-deltoid bursitis using clinic-based ultrasonography in a patient receiving infliximab therapy for ulcerative pouchitis.
Veerappan SG, Moinuddin G, Kennedy M, O'Morain CA, Kane D.
Ir J Med Sci. 2008 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print]

"All that glistens is not gold"--separating artefacts from true Doppler signals in rheumatological ultrasound.
Balint PV, Mandl P, Kane D.
Ann Rheum Dis 2008 67(2):141-2

Recommendations for the content and conduct of European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) musculoskeletal ultrasound courses.
Naredo E, Bijlsma JW, Conaghan PG, Acebes C, Balint P, Berner-Hammer H, Bruyn GA, Collado P, D'Agostino MA, de Agustin JJ, de Miguel E, Filippucci E, Grassi W, Iagnocco A, Kane D, Koski JM, Manger B, Mayordomo L, Möller I, Moragues C, Rejón E, Szkudlarek M, Terslev L, Uson J, Wakefield RJ, Schmidt WA.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2008 Jul;67(7):1017-22. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

A modular, flexible training strategy to achieve competence in diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound in patients with hip osteoarthritis.
Atchia I, Birrell F, Kane D.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Oct;46(10):1583-6.

The development of a preliminary ultrasonographic scoring system for features of hand osteoarthritis.
Keen HI, Lavie F, Wakefield RJ, D'Agostino MA, Hammer HB, Hensor E, Pendleton A, Kane D, Guerini H, Schueller-Weidekamm C, Kortekaas MC, Birrel F, Kloppenburg M, Stamm T, Watt I, Smolen JS, Maheu E, Dougados M, Conaghan PG.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2008 May;67(5):651-5. Epub 2007 Aug 17. Review.
Attitudes of United Kingdom rheumatologists to musculoskeletal ultrasound practice and training.
Cunnington J, Platt P, Raftery G, Kane D.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2007 Oct;66(10):1381-3. Epub 2007 May 14.

The OMERACT Ultrasound Group: status of current activities and research directions.
Wakefield RJ, D'Agostino MA, Iagnocco A, Filippucci E, Backhaus M, Scheel AK, Joshua F, Naredo E, Schmidt WA, Grassi W, Moller I, Pineda C, Klauser A, Szkudlarek M, Terslev L, Balint P, Bruyn GA, Swen WA, Jousse-Joulin S, Kane D, Koski JM, O'Connor P, Milutinovic S, Conaghan PG; OMERACT Ultrasound Group.
J Rheumatol. 2007 Apr;34(4):848-51.

Summary findings of a systematic review of the ultrasound assessment of synovitis.
Joshua F, Lassere M, Bruyn GA, Szkudlarek M, Naredo E, Schmidt WA, Balint P, Filippucci E, Backhaus M, Iagnocco A, Scheel AK, Kane D, Grassi W, Conaghan PG, Wakefield RJ, D'Agostino MA.
J Rheumatol. 2007 Apr;34(4):839-47. Review.

Effects of tumor necrosis factor blockade on cardiovascular risk factors in psoriatic arthritis: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Sattar N, Crompton P, Cherry L, Kane D, Lowe G, McInnes IB.
Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Mar;56(3):831-9.

Ultrasonography in rheumatology: developing its potential in clinical practice and research.
Meenagh G, Filippucci E, Kane D, Taggart A, Grassi W.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Jan;46(1):3-5. Epub 2006 Sep 26.


St James's Hospital

Title Name Email

Consultant Rheumalologist

Professor Gaye Cunnane
Clinical Senior Lecturer Dr Michelle Doran  
Clinical Senior Lecturer Dr Barry O’Shea


Tallaght University Hospital

Title Name Email

Consultant Rheumatologist

Professor David Kane
Clinical Associate Professor Dr Ronan Mullan