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Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Pediatric)

What is juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in children where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues, causing inflammation in joints and sometimes in the eye.  One complication of chronic untreated arthritis is damage to the cartilage in affected joints.

What are the symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

Common symptoms are joint swelling and stiffness, intermittent fever, an erythematous or salmon pink rash, limping, and aching in one or more joints. Lab tests may show high white blood cell counts, platelet counts, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, ferritin levels and immunoglobulins. Some patients with JIA may have completely normal labs. Radiological exams may show bone and soft tissue changes and growth abnormalities.

What is the treatment for juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

There is no cure for this condition. Prompt diagnosis and early treatment can ease inflammation and achieve remission. Treatments may include:

  • Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs such as methotrexate and biologic response modifiers (abatacept, adalimumab, canakinumab, etanercept, infliximab, anakinra, and tocilizumab)
  • Corticosteroids.