Chronic arthritis in childhood is not a single entity but a heterogeneous group of disorders. The term juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA) had been common in Europe while Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) was used in North America. In 1997, these terms were discarded for a broader, universal term, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). JIA defines arthritis beginning at less than 16 years of age and persisting for at least 6 weeks and with no known cause.
Rheumatoid factor positive polyarthritis (with RF testing positive on at lest two occasions three months apart) include approximately 10% of children with polyarticular JIA. The majority of affected children are adolescent girls who develop symmetrical polyarthritis affectingmany joints but usually including the small joints of their hands. This will frequently progress to an erosive arthropathy with a disease course similar to that of adult rheumatoid arthritis. This is essentially early onset 'adult-type' rheumatoid arthritis.
As with adults, treatment of Juvenile Arthritis is aimed at controlling inflammation and minimizing its effects on the joints. Localized joint problems can be minimized by good early control of the inflammatory process. Drug treatment is combined with physical therapy and the judicious use of splinting to maintain correct joint position and function.
The Medifocus Guide on Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What treatment options are available for the management of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Is it juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia?. Medical Clinics of North America. 2000
Oral health and juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a review. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2000
Musculoskeletal diseases in adolescence. Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London. 2000
Gene therapy for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis?. Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
The role of bone marrow transplantation in pediatric rheumatic diseases. Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
Effects of rheumatic disease and corticosteroid treatment on calcium metabolism and bone density in children assessed one year after diagnosis, using stable isotopes and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
Bone mineral status in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
The pain puzzle: a visual and conceptual metaphor for understanding and treating pain in pediatric rheumatic disease. Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
Update on functional assessment tools. Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
Innovative strategies for trial design. Journal of Rheumatology. 2000
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