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. In this type of condition, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.
Signs and tests
The physical examination may show swollen, warm, and tender joints that hurt to move. The child may have a rash. Other signs include:
When only a small number of joints are involved, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be enough to control symptoms.
JRA is seldom life threatening.
Mark James Borigini, MD, Rheumatologist in the Washington, DC Metro area. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/31/2009