Some children with the disease
grow out of it after they get treatment. Others will need ongoing treatment as
There are several types of juvenile idiopathic
Oligoarticular (formerly known as pauciarticular) is the most common and
often the mildest type. Your child may have pain in 1 to 4 joints during the first 6 months of the disease, such as the knees,
ankles, fingers, toes, wrists, elbows, or hips. The condition is called persistent oligoarthritis if no more than 4 joints are involved, and extended oligoarthritis if more joints become involved in the first 6 months.
Polyarticular affects more joints
and tends to get worse over time. It is further divided by whether or not the child has an antibody called rheumatoid factor in their blood. If the antibody is present, the condition is more severe, and is more like rheumatoid arthritis in adults.
Systemic is less common, but it can be the most serious. It causes pain in many
joints and can also spread to organs.
Enthesitis-related is also less common than oligoarticular and polyarticular JIA. It most often affects the areas where tendons and ligaments attach to bones (the enthesis). The joints may also be affected.
Psoriatic usually combines joint tenderness and inflammation (arthritis) with psoriasis of the skin or a related condition of the nails.
What causes juvenile idiopathic arthritis?
Doctors don't really know what causes the
disease. But there are a number of things that they think can lead to it. These
In some cases these symptoms can be mild and hard for you
to see. A young child may be more cranky than normal or may go back to crawling
after he or she has started walking. You may notice that your child feels stiff
in the morning or has trouble walking.
Children with this disease
can also get inflammatory
eye disease. This can lead to permanent vision
problems or blindness if it’s not treated. Eye disease often has no symptoms
before vision loss occurs. That’s why it’s important for your child to have
regular eye exams with an
ophthalmologist. Treatment can begin before your child
has long-lasting vision problems.