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Principles of management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis 

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

Nicolino Ruperto

and Angelo Ravelli

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199642489.003.0096

The management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is based on a combination of pharmacological interventions, physical and occupational therapy, and psychosocial support. Ideally, the management is conducted by a multidisciplinary team composed by a paediatric rheumatologist, specialist nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and psychologist. The treatment is aimed to achieve disease control, to relieve pain, to foster normal nutrition and growth, to maintain physical and psychological well-being, and to prevent long-term damage related to the disease or its therapy. First-line pharmacological interventions are based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and intra-articular corticosteroids. Patients who are refractory to these therapies are candidates to receive disease-modifying anti-rheumatic medications, namely methotrexate or, in case of enthesitis-related arthritis, sulfasalazine. If therapeutic response is inadequate or suboptimal, the introduction of a biologic response modifier is considered. Systemic corticosteroids are used in selected instances, which include the management of extra-articular manifestations of systemic arthritis or the achievement of quick disease control while are awaiting the full therapeutic effect of a disease-modifying agent in patients with severe polyarthritis. To help physician select the safest and most effective treatment for JIA, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued a set of recommendations that were meant to be as evidence based as possible. The British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology (BSPAR) has developed the standards of care for patients with JIA, which are aimed to help the paediatric rheumatology teams to improve the service they provide.

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