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Juvenile idiopathic arthritis 

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Chapter:
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Source:
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)
Author(s):

Eileen Baildam

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199642489.003.0116_update_001
Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is defined as arthritis lasting for 6 weeks or more presenting in childhood at any age up to 17 years. Arthritis is diagnosed clinically by the presence of joint pain, stiffness, and swelling with inflammation limiting the range of individual joint movement. There are subtypes that tend to follow distinct courses and with phenotypes that vary widely from a serious systemic inflammatory disorder of systemic JIA to single-joint monoarthritis. The differential diagnosis of JIA is wide and the best chance of long-term remission is where treatment is started as early as possible. However, there is often delay in diagnosis in childhood and there is no single reliable diagnostic test so pattern recognition is fundamental. There are associated disorders such as silent uveitis that must be screened for and managed as part of essential multidisciplinary care. Systemic JIA is complicated by potentially life-threatening macrophage activation syndrome that is often underdiagnosed but where the diagnosis is based on easy clinical tests and where awareness is vital. This chapter covers descriptions of the classification criteria for chronic arthritis in children, clinical presentations and likely course for the various subtypes.

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