Arthritis, Juvenile Idiopathic



  • Previously called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) with the addition of other idiopathic arthritis of childhood
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) comprises persistent, unexplained arthritis lasting >6 wk, occurring <17 yr of age, and affecting a heterogeneous group of children
  • Prevalence 44 in 100,000 children in North America
  • Caucasians > African American and Asian populations
  • Girls > boys for most forms
  • Peak incidence 11–15 yr of age
  • Classified into 7 subgroups: Systemic onset, polyarticular RF+, polyarticular RF–, oligoarticular (pauciarticular), psoriatic, enthesitis, other or unclassified
  • Subtypes are based on number, type, and symmetry of joints involved; presence of systemic symptoms; skin involvement; family history; and lab values
  • Up to 20% of JIA patients remain unclassified or are classified in multiple categories
  • Natural course of the disease depends on the subtype – oligoarticular most likely to achieve remission; polyarticular RF+ least likely
  • Full resolution occurs in ∼50% of JIA patients
  • Many will have a fluctuating course and ongoing disease through adulthood


Believed to be an autoimmune and autoinflammatory disease triggered by an unknown environmental trigger in a genetically susceptible host

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