Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Also known as: JIA, Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA

What is juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common type of arthritis in children. “Juvenile” means it happens in patients younger than 16 years of age, “Idiopathic” means the specific cause of the arthritis is not known and “arthritis” means inflammation of the joints. Many joints of the body can be impacted by juvenile idiopathic arthritis.


What causes juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

The exact cause of juvenile idiopathic arthritis isn’t clear. Some children seem to be more likely to get it based on their genetics. In these children, there may be some form of trigger, such as a virus, that initially brings on juvenile idiopathic arthritis.


What are the symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis?

Within the umbrella term of JIA there are different subcategories. All patients with JIA will have joint pains and swelling that usually last for at least 6 weeks. Different subtypes can also have fever, inflammation around the heart and lungs, anemia, enlarged lymph nodes and rashes.


What are juvenile idiopathic arthritis care options?

A variety of different medications can relieve symptoms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and help prevent arthritis from recurring. In some cases, physical and occupational therapy, splints, orthotics, eye and dental care may be helpful for children with the condition. 

Reviewed by: Yonit Sterba Rakovchik, MD

This page was last updated on: 11/7/2017 4:05:51 PM

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