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Types of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Types list

The list of types of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis mentioned in various sources includes:

Types discussion:

Doctors classify JRA into three types by the number of joints involved, the symptoms, and the presence or absence of certain antibodies found by a blood test. (Antibodies are special proteins made by the immune system.) These classifications help the doctor determine how the disease will progress and whether the internal organs or skin is affected.

  • Pauciarticular (PAW-see-are-TICK-you-lar)--Pauciarticular means that four or fewer joints are affected. Pauciarticular is the most common form of JRA; about half of all children with JRA have this type. Pauciarticular disease typically affects large joints, such as the knees. Girls under age 8 are most likely to develop this type of JRA.

    Some children have special kinds of antibodies in the blood. One is called antinuclear antibody (ANA) and one is called rheumatoid factor. Eye disease affects about 20 to 30 percent of children with pauciarticular JRA. Up to 80 percent of those with eye disease also test positive for ANA and the disease tends to develop at a particularly early age in these children. Regular examinations by an ophthalmologist (a doctor who specializes in eye diseases) are necessary to prevent serious eye problems such as iritis (inflammation of the iris, the colored part of the eye) or uveitis (inflammation of the uvea, or the inner eye). Some children with pauciarticular disease outgrow arthritis by adulthood, although eye problems can continue and joint symptoms may recur in some people.

  • Polyarticular--About 30 percent of all children with JRA have polyarticular disease. In polyarticular disease, five or more joints are affected. The small joints, such as those in the hands and feet, are most commonly involved, but the disease may also affect large joints. Polyarticular JRA often is symmetrical; that is, it affects the same joint on both sides of the body. Some children with polyarticular disease have an antibody in their blood called IgM rheumatoid factor (RF). These children often have a more severe form of the disease, which doctors consider to be similar in many ways to adult rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Systemic--Besides joint swelling, the systemic form of JRA is characterized by fever and a light skin rash, and may also affect internal organs such as the heart, liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. Doctors sometimes call it Still's disease. Almost all children with this type of JRA test negative for both RF and ANA. The systemic form affects 20 percent of all children with JRA. A small percentage of these children develop arthritis in many joints and can have severe arthritis that continues into adulthood.
(Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: NIAMS)

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rare Types

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Related Disease Topics

More general medical disease topics related to Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis include:

Research More About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis


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