We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA Patient Page |

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis FREE

Sarah Ringold, MD, Writer; Alison Burke, MA, Illustrator; Richard M. Glass, MD, Editor
JAMA. 2005;294(13):1722. doi:10.1001/jama.294.13.1722.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the term used to describe arthritisinflammation (cellular damage) of the synovium (the lining of joints)—with onset before 16 years of age. Previously called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, the name has been changed to reflect the difference between the juvenile (childhood) forms of arthritis and adult forms of arthritis. Although JIA is idiopathic (the cause is not known), it is likely the result of a combination of genetic, infectious, and environmental factors. Because arthritis in children may resemble the joint pain associated with infections, cancer, bone disorders, and other inflammatory disorders, these potential causes must be excluded before the diagnosis of JIA can be made. The October 5, 2005, issue of JAMA includes an article about treatment of JIA.


JIA is categorized into 5 main types based on the number of joints involved during the first 6 months of disease and the involvement of other organs.

  • Oligoarthritis accounts for approximately 50% of JIA and is defined as involvement of fewer than 5 joints. This type often includes uveitis (inflammation in the eyes).

  • Polyarthritis requires arthritis in 5 or more joints.

  • Systemic arthritis accounts for approximately 10% to 20% of JIA and is characterized by high fevers, rash, and inflammation of other organs, in addition to arthritis.

  • Enthesitis-related arthritis often affects the spine, hips, and entheses (attachment points of tendons to bones) and occurs mainly in boys older than 8 years.

  • Psoriatric arthritis includes children who have arthritis with the rash of psoriasis.


In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, your child's doctor will order blood tests to exclude the other causes of arthritis, to measure ongoing inflammatory activity, and to determine whether any particular markers of arthritis are present, such as antinuclear antibody and rheumatoid factor levels. He or she may also obtain x-rays of affected joints to look for bony abnormalities or evidence of joint damage. Your doctor may refer your child to a pediatric rheumatologist (a doctor with specialized training in arthritis in children). Because inflammation in the joints may be associated with inflammation in the eyes, he or she may also refer your child to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) for a detailed eye examination.


Medications are available that both decrease the symptoms of joint pain and stiffness and alter the disease process, preventing permanent damage to the joint or joints. Appropriate medical therapy depends on the category of JIA and extent of joint involvement. Occupational and physical therapies may help maintain range of motion in joints and help your child with participation in activities at school and at home.



To find this and previous JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA's Web site at http://www.jama.com.

Source: American College of Rheumatology

The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 718/946-7424.


This article was corrected on 10/26/2005, prior to publication of the correction in print.



Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles