Yongdong Zhao, MD, PhD, RhMSUS

Yongdong  Zhao, MD, PhD, RhMSUS

Rheumatology, Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO) Program

On staff since July 2013

Children's Title: Director of Clinical CRMO Program

Academic Title: Associate Professor

Research Center: Center for Clinical and Translational Research

"My research goal is to build a well-rounded clinical research program investigating chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CNO) or CRMO, an inflammatory bone disease with unknown cause, which results in bone pain and bone destruction in children. There is a lack of sensitive and reliable laboratory tests to diagnose and monitor disease activity. My long-term goal is to develop comprehensive, reliable diagnostic and monitoring tools for CNO. Validated outcome measurements will enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutics on CNO in clinical trials. Inexpensive and reliable imaging is needed to improve the clinical care of CNO. I am currently evaluating the feasibility of using infrared thermal imaging to detect active lesions in CNO. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of different therapies for CNO. Due to the relative rarity of this condition, no single center has enough patients to answer this research question alone. Our team has been the coordination center for two international collaborative projects, CNO classification criteria development and CHOIR registry. We appreciate your generous donation to fund our research in CRMO/CNO. Give via https://giveto.seattlechildrens.org/CRMOfund"

  • Dr. Zhao received his medical degree from Beijing Medical University (now Peking University Health Science Center). He completed his first stage of residency in surgery at Beijing Medical University and his doctorate in nutrition sciences from Purdue University. Dr. Zhao studied the pathogenesis of Juvenile dermatomyositis as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center and fellowship in pediatric rheumatology at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.

    During his rheumatology fellowship training, Dr. Zhao recognized the need for reliable and valid assessment tools, and systematic evaluation methods, for chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CNO), also known as chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), a potentially debilitating condition. He developed a comprehensive MRI scoring tool to assess disease activity and damage. He used this tool in a retrospective study of children with CNO treated with TNF alpha inhibition, demonstrating significant improvements of disease activity and no damage progression.
    Dr. Zhao joined Seattle Children's Hospital and the University of Washington in 2013.

    • Cayenne Lynnwood 04.10.22

      Dr. Yongdong Zhao is by far the best doctor I've ever had. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 4 and have had many doctors over the years. He went above and beyond every appointment and took far more steps than any other doctor I've had. He would catch onto inflammation and other issues before I even noticed, while I've had to work hard to advocate for myself with every other doctor I've had. He really truly cares about his patients, just wish I didn't age out so I could still see him.

    • Stefanie Eagle Idaho 04.28.17

      Im so glad I made the trip to Washington with my 12 year old daughter who has CROMO. He is a leading authority on the disease and has dedicated a lot of time to try and understand CROMO. It brought me a lot of comfort to know my daughter is under the care of the very best. Seattles Children hospital is an amazing facility as well and we felt well taken care of by all involved to make that appointment possible. I would highly recommend Dr Zhao and his staff and Seattles Children's hospital to anyone.

  • Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    Lead Clinician for Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative Rare As One CRMO Foundation 2019
    2018 CARRA PReS Travel Award 2018
    2018 OMERACT fellow program 2018
    ACR/EULAR Exchange Program Award 2017
    Walk to Cure Arthritis Medical Honoree, Renton, Washington 2016
    Young Investigators Initiative (YII) program United States Bone and Joint Initiative 2015
    Research Poster winner Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia 2013
    ACR State-of-the-Art Clinical Symposium Travel Grant American College of Rheumatology 2013
    The Norma H. Compton Outstanding Doctoral Student Award Purdue University 2006
    Young Investigator Award American Society for Clinical Nutrition 2005
    P&G Graduate Student Research Award American Society of Nutrition Sciences 2004
  • Manuscripts in Refereed Journals

    • Zhao Y, Wallace C.
      Judicious use of biologicals in juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
      Curr Rheumatol Rep., 2014 : 16(11)454 doi: 10.1007/s11926-014-0454-3.
    • 16. Zhao Y, Foster SK., Murdock TJ., Schlesinger M, Wallace CA
      A Rare Case of Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis with Undifferentiated Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Uveitis, and Psoriasis
      Case Reports in Clinical Medicine (CRCM), 5
    • Zhao Y, Laxer RM, Ferguson PJ
      Treatment advances in chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis and other autoinflammatory bone conditions
      Curr Treat Options in Rheum
    • Zhao Y, Iyer RS, Reichley L, Oron AP, Gove NE, Kitsch AE, Biswas D, Friedman S, Partridge SC, Wallace CA.
      A Pilot Study of Infrared Thermal Imaging to Detect Active Bone Lesions in Children with Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis
      Arthritis Care and Research

    Other Publications

    • Kodama S, Gupta D, Sullivan E, Rosenwasser N, Zhao Y
      Paradoxical psoriasis after exposure to tumor necrosis factor inhibitors in children-A retrospective cohort study.
      34993955 The British journal of dermatology, 2022 Jan 7
    • Zhao Y, Iyer RS, Thapa M, Biswas D, Bhide N, Scheck J, Cain K, Partridge SC, Wallace CA
      A Novel Algorithm Using Within-leg Calibration for Enhanced Accuracy of Detection of Arthritis by Infrared Thermal Imaging in Children.
      34210832 The Journal of rheumatology, 2022 Jan. : 49(1)81-88
    • Nuruzzaman F, Zhao Y, Ferguson PJ
      Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis: Insights into Pathogenesis, Assessment, and Treatment.
      34635299 Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America, 2021 Nov. : 47(4)691-705
    • Capponi M, Pires Marafon D, Rivosecchi F, Zhao Y, Pardeo M, Messia V, Tanturri de Horatio L, Tomà P, De Benedetti F, Insalaco A
      Assessment of disease activity using a whole-body MRI derived radiological activity index in chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis.
      34391458 Pediatric rheumatology online journal, 2021 Aug 14 : 19(1)123 PMCID:PMC8364123
    • Menashe SJ, Aboughalia H, Zhao Y, Ngo AV, Otjen JP, Thapa MM, Iyer RS
      The Many Faces of Pediatric Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis (CRMO): A Practical Location- and Case-Based Approach to Differentiate CRMO From Its Mimics.
      32841445 Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI, 2021 Aug. : 54(2)391-400
    • Oliver M, Jayatilleke A, Wu E, Nuruzzaman F, Aguiar C, Lenert A, Romano M, Simonini G, Shah S, Hollander M, Alsaleem A, Fox E, Theos A, Ramanan AV, Schnabel A, Lapidus S, Tucker L, Onel K, Ozen S, Dedeoglu F, Ferguson PJ, Shea B, Akikusa J, Hedrich C, Mease P, Zhao Y
      Establishing core domain sets for Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis (CNO) and Synovitis, Acne, Pustulosis, Hyperostosis, Osteitis (SAPHO): A report from the OMERACT 2020 special interest group.
      34176644 Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism, 2021 Aug. : 51(4)957-961
    • Pinal-Fernandez I, Pak K, Gil-Vila A, Baucells A, Plotz B, Casal-Dominguez M, Derfoul A, Martinez-Carretero MA, Selva-O'Callaghan A, Sabbagh S, Casciola-Rosen L, Albayda J, Paik J, Tiniakou E, Danoff SK, Lloyd TE, Miller FW, Rider LG, Christopher-Stine L, Mammen AL, Childhood Myositis Heterogeneity Collaborative Study Group.
      Anti-Cortactin Autoantibodies Are Associated With Key Clinical Features in Adult Myositis but Are Rarely Present in Juvenile Myositis.
      34313394 Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.), 2021 Jul 27
    • Rosenwasser N, Lee D, Sidbury R, Zhao Y
      Paradoxical Psoriasis in Children Receiving Anti-TNFα Treatment for Inflammatory/autoimmune Disease.
      33761130 Paediatric drugs, 2021 March : 23(2)131-141
    • Perkins A, Stevens AM, Ferguson PJ, Zhao Y
      Urinary N-telopeptide as a Biomarker of Disease Activity in Patients with Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis Who Have Not Received Bisphosphonates.
      33004538 The Journal of rheumatology, 2020 Dec 1 : 47(12)1842-1844
    • Furutani E, Shah AS, Zhao Y, Andorsky D, Dedeoglu F, Geddis A, Zhou Y, Libermann TA, Myers KC, Shimamura A
      Inflammatory manifestations in patients with Shwachman-Diamond syndrome: A novel phenotype.
      32293785 American journal of medical genetics. Part A, 2020 July : 182(7)1754-1760
    • Zhao Y, Ferguson PJ
      Chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis and autoinflammatory bone diseases.
      32389739 Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.), 2020 July : 216108458 PMCID:PMC7338233
    • Zhao Y, Ferguson PJ
      Chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis and autoinflammatory bone diseases.
      32389739 Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.), 2020 July : 216108458 PMCID:PMC7338233
    • Zhao Y, Sato TS, Nielsen SM, Beer M, Huang M, Iyer RS, McGuire M, Ngo AV, Otjen JP, Panwar J, Stimec J, Thapa M, Toma P, Taneja A, Gove NE, Ferguson PJ
      Development of a Scoring Tool for Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Evaluation of its Interrater Reliability.
      31575701 The Journal of rheumatology, 2020 May 1 : 47(5)739-747
    • Amarilyo G, Rothman D, Manthiram K, Edwards KM, Li SC, Marshall GS, Yildirim-Toruner C, Haines K, Ferguson PJ, Lionetti G, Cherian J, Zhao Y, DeLaMora P, Syverson G, Nativ S, Twilt M, Michelow IC, Stepanovskiy Y, Thatayatikom A, Harel L, Akoghlanian S, Tucker L, Marques MC, Srinivasalu H, Propst EJ, Licameli GR, Dedeoglu F, Lapidus S, CARRA PFAPA Consensus Treatment Plan Workgroup.
      Consensus treatment plans for periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis syndrome (PFAPA): a framework to evaluate treatment responses from the childhood arthritis and rheumatology research alliance (CARRA) PFAPA work group.
      32293478 Pediatric rheumatology online journal, 2020 Apr 15 : 18(1)31 PMCID:PMC7157990
    • Gaal A, Basiaga ML, Zhao Y, Egbert M
      Pediatric chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis of the mandible: Seattle Children's hospital 22-patient experience.
      31941491 Pediatric rheumatology online journal, 2020 Jan 15 : 18(1)4 PMCID:PMC6964064
    • Gaal A, Basiaga ML, Zhao Y, Egbert M
      Pediatric chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis of the mandible: Seattle Children's hospital 22-patient experience.
      31941491 Pediatric rheumatology online journal, 2020 Jan 15 : 18(1)4 PMCID:PMC6964064
    • Gmuca S, Hardy DI, Narula S, Stoll S, Harris J, Zhao Y, Xiao R, Weiss PF, Waldman AT, Gerber JS
      Validation of claims-based diagnoses of adult and pediatric neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and variations in diagnostic evaluation and treatment initiation.
      31706167 Multiple sclerosis and related disorders, 2020 Jan. : 37101488 PMCID:PMC7078037
    • Zhao Y, Iyer RS, Reichley L, Oron AP, Gove NE, Kitsch AE, Biswas D, Friedman S, Partridge SC, Wallace CA
      A Pilot Study of Infrared Thermal Imaging to Detect Active Bone Lesions in Children With Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis.
      30387916 Arthritis care & research, 2019 Nov. : 71(11)1430-1435
    • Little EM, Grevich S, Huber JL, Suskind DL, Bradford MC, Stevens AM, Zhao Y
      Parental Perception of Dietary Intervention in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.
      31112041 Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 2019 June : 25(6)643-647
    • Zhao Y, Rascoff NE, Iyer RS, Thapa M, Wallace CA
      Dr. Zhao, et al, reply.
      30600238 The Journal of rheumatology, 2019 Jan. : 46(1)113-114
    • Oliver M, Lee TC, Halpern-Felsher B, Murray E, Schwartz R, Zhao Y, CARRA SVARD CRMO/CNO workgroup.
      Disease burden and social impact of pediatric chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis from the patient and family perspective.
      30547806 Pediatric rheumatology online journal, 2018 Dec 14 : 16(1)78 PMCID:PMC6295016
    • Zhao Y, Chauvin NA, Jaramillo D, Burnham JM
      Aggressive Therapy Reduces Disease Activity without Skeletal Damage Progression in Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis.
      25979712 The Journal of rheumatology, 2015 July : 42(7)1245-51
    • Zhao Y, Cheong JM, Lee W, Wastney M, Martin BR, Weaver CM
      Tetracycline and calcium kinetics are comparable for estimating bone resorption in rats.
      20668254 The Journal of nutrition, 2010 Sept. : 140(9)1704-9 PMCID:PMC2924600
    • Martin BR, Braun MM, Wigertz K, Bryant R, Zhao Y, Lee W, Kempa-Steczko A, Weaver CM
      Fructo-oligosaccharides and calcium absorption and retention in adolescent girls.
      21041813 Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2010 Aug. : 29(4)382-6
    • Ibarra M, Chou PM, Pachman LM, Zhao YD, Boskey AL
      Calcification in a case of circumscribed myositis ossificans.
      20360204 The Journal of rheumatology, 2010 April : 37(4)876 PMCID:PMC3357497
    • Zhao Y, Urganus AL, Spevak L, Shrestha S, Doty SB, Boskey AL, Pachman LM
      Characterization of dystrophic calcification induced in mice by cardiotoxin.
      19690791 Calcified tissue international, 2009 Sept. : 85(3)267-75 PMCID:PMC2830143
    • Urganus AL, Zhao YD, Pachman LM
      Juvenile dermatomyositis calcifications selectively displayed markers of bone formation.
      19333978 Arthritis and rheumatism, 2009 Apr 15 : 61(4)501-8 PMCID:PMC2741135
    • Zhao Y, Fedczyna TO, McVicker V, Caliendo J, Li H, Pachman LM
      Apoptosis in the skeletal muscle of untreated children with juvenile dermatomyositis: impact of duration of untreated disease.
      17704000 Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.), 2007 Nov. : 125(2)165-72 PMCID:PMC2219965
    • Zhao Y, Fleet JC, Adamec J, Terry DE, Zhang X, Kemeh S, Davisson VJ, Weaver CM
      Effects of hindlimb unloading and bisphosphonates on the serum proteome of rats.
      17627911 Bone, 2007 Oct. : 41(4)646-58
    • Zhao Y, Martin BR, Weaver CM
      Calcium bioavailability of calcium carbonate fortified soymilk is equivalent to cow's milk in young women.
      16177199 The Journal of nutrition, 2005 Oct. : 135(10)2379-82
    • Zhao Y, Martin BR, Wastney ME, Schollum L, Weaver CM
      Acute versus chronic effects of whey proteins on calcium absorption in growing rats.
      16118403 Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), 2005 Sept. : 230(8)536-42
    • Cai DJ, Zhao Y, Glasier J, Cullen D, Barnes S, Turner CH, Wastney M, Weaver CM
      Comparative effect of soy protein, soy isoflavones, and 17beta-estradiol on bone metabolism in adult ovariectomized rats.
      15824856 Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2005 May : 20(5)828-39
    • Zafar TA, Weaver CM, Zhao Y, Martin BR, Wastney ME
      Nondigestible oligosaccharides increase calcium absorption and suppress bone resorption in ovariectomized rats.
      14747679 The Journal of nutrition, 2004 Feb. : 134(2)399-402
    • Zhao Y, Dedeoglu F, Ferguson PJ, Lapidus SK, Laxer RM, Bradford MC, Li SC
      Physicians' Perspectives on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis.
      28167963 International journal of rheumatology, 20177694942 PMCID:PMC5259599
    • Zhao Y, Wu EY, Oliver MS, Cooper AM, Basiaga ML, Vora SS, Lee TC, Fox E, Amarilyo G, Stern SM, Dvergsten JA, Haines KA, Rouster-Stevens KA, Onel KB, Cherian J, Hausmann JS, Miettunen P, Cellucci T, Nuruzzaman F, Taneja A, Barron KS, Hollander MC, Lapidus SK, Li SC, Ozen S, Girschick H, Laxer RM, Dedeoglu F, Hedrich CM, Ferguson PJ, Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis/Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis Study Group and the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance Scleroderma, Vasculitis, Autoinflammatory and Rare Diseases Subcommittee.
      Consensus Treatment Plans for Chronic Nonbacterial Osteomyelitis Refractory to Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs and/or With Active Spinal Lesions.
      29112802 Arthritis care & research, 70(8)1228-1237 PMCID:PMC5938153
    • Campbell JA, Kodama SS, Gupta D, Zhao Y
      Case series of psoriasis associated with tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors in children with chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis.
      30246121 JAAD case reports, 4(8)767-771 PMCID:PMC6141644
    • Ting TV, Vega-Fernandez P, Oberle EJ, De Ranieri D, Bukulmez H, Lin C, Moser D, Barrowman NJ, Zhao Y, Benham HM, Tasan L, Thatayatikom A, Roth J, CARRA JIA Ultrasound Workgroup.
      A Novel Ultrasound Image Acquisition Protocol and Scoring System for the Pediatric Knee.
      30192069 Arthritis care & research
  • Presentations Title Event Location Date
    Update in pediatric rheumatology Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage, AK Oct 12, 2018
    “Biological use in pediatric rheumatic disease” 1st Summit Meeting of Pediatric Rheumatology of Nanjing Nanjing, Jingsu province, China Dec 24, 2016
    Acute and chronic arthritis in children Alaska Native Medical Center Anchorage, AK 2014
  • Grant Title Grantor Amount Award Date
    Criteria Development American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism $130,000 Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2022
    Rare As One Network Chan Zuckerberg Initiative $450,000 Mar 1, 2020 - Feb 28, 2022
    Pilot Grant Seattle Children’s Research Institute Total costs: $15,000 Oct 1, 2018 - Sep 30, 2020
    IM101-691_Zhao Bristol-Myer Squibb Investigator Initiated Trial Total costs: $268,710 Jan 1, 2018 - Dec 31, 2019
    The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance $25.000 Jul 1, 2017 - Jun 30, 2018
    Clinical Research Scholar Program Award Seattle Children’s Research Institute $56,000 Oct 1, 2016 - Sep 30, 2018
    Pilot Grant The Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance Annual direct costs: $9,600 Jun 1, 2016 - May 31, 2018
    Assessing the feasibility of using infrared thermal imaging to detect active bone lesions in chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis CCTR Academic Enrichment Fund $25,000 2015 - 2016


Board Certification(s)

Pediatric Rheumatology
Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Certification in Rheumatology

Medical/Professional School

Peking University, Beijing
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Clinical Interests

Diagnosing and treating children with rheumatic diseases including juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), vasculitis, linear scleroderma, systemic sclerosis, chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), periodic fever and other rare rheumatic disorders.