Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Alternative Names

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.

Symptoms

Arthritis symptoms:

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:

Treatment

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.

Expectations (prognosis)

JRA is seldom life threatening.

Review

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

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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