Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, is the most common chronic arthritic disease of childhood and corresponds to a group of different subtypes.
The estimated incidence is ~13 per 100,000 per annum 3. By definition, symptoms must start before 16 years of age. Females are more affected with F:M = 2:1.
Oligoarticular or polyarticular arthritis of a duration of six weeks or longer must be present to diagnose JIA.
Patients may present with an acute onset of symptoms or a more gradual onset. Symptoms are often worse in the morning but typically persist to some extent throughout the day.
In patients with systemic onset (also known as Still disease), intermittent spiking fevers are typically noted, which helps distinguish JIA from other diseases such as infection, other inflammatory diseases and malignancy. Migratory salmon coloured light pink rash involving the trunk and/or extremities and hepatosplenomegaly are also frequently observed in patients with systemic onset.
There are several subtypes of JIA 7,8:
- affected ≤4 joints in the first six months of illness
- peak age: 1-6 years
- mainly affects medium and large joints
- ≥5 joints are affected
- peak age: 1-4 years; 7-10 years
- mainly affects small and medium joints
systemic onset JIA (a.k.a. Still disease)
- see above
- arthritis may present weeks to months after the onset of systemic symptoms
Imaging shows a varied spectrum of involvement, based on the severity and duration of the disease. There is usually a predilection for large joints rather than small joints.
Cervical spine radiographs may demonstrate:
- atlantoaxial subluxation
- odontoid erosions
- ankylosis, especially of the facet joints
MRI shows synovial hypertrophy, joint effusions as well as osseous and cartilaginous erosions. Active synovitis is characterised by enhancement on T1-weighted gadolinium contrast studies.
- 1. Sheybani EF, Khanna G, White AJ et-al. Imaging of juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a multimodality approach. Radiographics. 2013;33 (5): 1253-73. doi:10.1148/rg.335125178 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Resnick D. Diagnosis of bone and joint disorders. W.B. Saunders Company. ISBN:0721650686. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 3. Gylys-Morin VM, Graham TB, Blebea JS et-al. Knee in early juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: MR imaging findings. Radiology. 2001;220 (3): 696-706. doi:10.1148/radiol.2203000461 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Williams RA, Ansell BM. Radiological findings in seropositive juvenile chronic arthritis (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) with particular reference to progression. Ann. Rheum. Dis. 1985;44 (10): 685-93. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 5. Sofka CM, Bogner E. Imaging of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. HSS J. 2008;4 (1): 71-3. doi:10.1007/s11420-007-9065-0 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation
- 6. Doria AS, Kiss MH, Lotito AP et-al. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis of the knee: evaluation with contrast-enhanced color Doppler ultrasound. Pediatr Radiol. 2001;31 (7): 524-31. Pubmed citation
- 7. Schwartz MW. The 5 Minute Pediatric Consult. LWW. ISBN:145111656X. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 8. Marcdante K, Kliegman RM. Nelson essentials of pediatrics. Saunders. ISBN:B00JBSPWVO. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
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