Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Arthritis Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Classification of Juvenile Arthritis - Topic Overview

There used to be two ways to classify juvenile arthritis. There was the European classification of juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA). And there was the American classification of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Each system used different categories. This made it hard to use European and American research findings and treatment guidelines together.

To improve research and treatment, the International League Against Rheumatism has devised a set of international criteria that uses the term "juvenile idiopathic arthritis" (JIA). The word "idiopathic" means "of unknown cause." This approach is now used by most researchers and health professionals.

The table below summarizes the three systems.

Classification systems for juvenile arthritis
Organization Classification Length of illness before diagnosis
International League Against Rheumatism Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
Systemic JIA
Polyarticular JIA, RF-positive
Polyarticular JIA, RF-negative
Oligoarticular JIA
  • Persistent. It affects 1 to 4 joints.
  • Extended. Over time it affects 5 or more joints.
Psoriatic arthritis
Enthesis-related arthritis
Other arthritis (This is also called undifferentiated or unclassified arthritis.)
6 weeks
American College of Rheumatology Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)
Systemic JRA
Polyarticular JRA. It affects 5 or more joints.
Oligoarticular JRA. It affects 1 to 4 joints.

JRA does not include similar types of childhood arthritis (juvenile ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile psoriatic arthritis).

6 weeks
European League Against Rheumatism Juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA)
Systemic JCA
Polyarticular JCA. It affects 5 or more joints and is RF-negative.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It affects 5 or more joints and is RF-positive.
Oligoarticular JCA. It affects 1 to 4 joints.
Juvenile psoriatic arthritis
Juvenile ankylosing spondylitis
3 months

No matter the classification, children who have symptoms before age16 are said to have juvenile arthritis.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: /2, 14 1
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Classification of Juvenile Arthritis Topics

Today on WebMD

Mature woman exercise at home
Hint: Warming up first is crucial.
feet with gout
Quiz yourself.
 
woman in pain
One idea? Eat fish to curb inflammation.
senior couple walking
Can you keep your RA from progressing?
 
xray of knees with osteoarthritis
Slideshow
close up of man wearing dress shoes
Slideshow
 
feet with gout
Quiz
close up of red shoe in shoebox
Slideshow
 
salad
Video
two male hands
ARTICLE
 
Woman massaging her neck
Quiz
5 Lupus Risk Factors
Article