Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis - Overview
Juvenile chronic polyarthritis; JRA; Still's disease; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Definition of Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis:
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a term used to describe a common type of arthritis in children. It is a long-term (chronic) disease resulting in joint pain and swelling.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
The cause of JRA is not known. It is thought to be an autoimmune illness. This means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.
JRA usually occurs before age 16. Symptoms may start as early as 6 months old.
It is divided into several types:
- Systemic (bodywide) JRA involves joint swelling or pain, fevers, and rash. It is the least common type.
- Polyarticular JRA involves many joints. This form of JRA may turn into rheumatoid arthritis. It may involve five or more large and small joints of the legs and arms, as well as the jaw and neck.
- Pauciarticular JRA involves four or less joints, most often the wrists, or knees. It also affects the eyes.
- Reviewed last on: 6/28/2011
- Ariel D. Teitel, M.D., M.B.A., Chief, Division of Rheumatology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Long AR, Rouster-Stevens KA. The role of exercise therapy in the management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2010 Mar;22(2):213-7.
Prince FH, Otten MH, van Suijlekom-Smit LW. Diagnosis and management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. BMJ. 2010 Dec 3;341:c6434.
Ruperto N, Lovell DJ, Quartier P, et al; Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization and the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group. Long-term safety and efficacy of abatacept in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2010 Jun;62(6):1792-802.
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