Children with rheumatic disease 4.5/5 (4)

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children Arthritis

Children with rheumatic disease such as pediatric joint disease and other rheumatic diseases attack children of all ages

Juvenile Arthritis (JIA) (Childhood Arthritis)


Arthritis (inflamed joint) in one or more joints that has lasted for 6 weeks or more

  • Childhood arthritis should have started before 16's age and has no known cause of disease
  • The disease is usually different from arthritis in adults
  • The systemic form (systemic JIA) Is characterized by fever


Children of all ages can get rheumatic disease. Gender distribution depends on the subgroup (see below). The disease occurs overall, twice as frequently among girls as boys. Boys get more frequent the subgroups of spondylopathy / entesitis related disease and have broader age spread at start of the disease with increased risk at the age of 8-10. Systemic JIA (with fever) has equal gender distribution.

  • The number of new cases per year (incidence) is in Scandinavia 15-22 cases per 100.000 child (Reference Songstad NT 2006)
  • The number of children with the disease (prevalence) is between 75 and 148 per 100.000 child

Symptoms and diagnosis

Please refer to the individual types of child joints below

Treatment of children with rheumatic disease

Drug selection depends on the type of disease (see below) and severity. In joint inflammation, physiotherapy is often also necessary for joints to solidify.

  • Swollen joints are punctured (in anesthesia in young children) and a cortisone preparation is injected. The effect should last for many months, and little cortisone is absorbed into the body. Thus little side effects
  • Prednisone is often effective, but can cause significant side effects over time. One tries to avoid prednisolon as far as possible
  • Methotrexate is applicable when multiple joints are inflammed over time
  • Biological drugs like TNF inhibitors (Enbrel, Rixarthron, Remicade, Humira and more) are given if joint inflammation does not come under control of methotrexate. Kineret is a choice at systemic type (with fever)

Child rheumatism with arthritis in several finger-jointed, polyarticular type. Hahn YS, Korean J Pediatr (2010). CC BY-NC 3.0

Types of Childhood Arthritis (JIA)

Juvenile arthritis is divided into different subgroups (ILAR classification) depending on the number of inflamed joints and other symptoms and examination findings:

Systemic type

Oligoarticular form 

Polyarticular form

Entesite related form / Spondyloarthropathies (SpA)

Eye disease as a complication of juvenile arthritis (JIA)

Classification of juvenile arthritis

Joint pain in children

Transistent arthritis

  • Pediatric arthritis is distinguished from short-term, transient, arthritis (most often among boys aged 3-8 years) and which spontaneously improves after 3-5 days and goes away completely within 1-4 weeks. Fever is absent.

You can read more about juvenile arthritis here (in Danish) (Supervisor, the Norwegian Medical Association)

Systemic connective tissue diseases

Systemic vasculitis in children

Autoinflammatory Fever Syndromes (Periodic Fever Syndromes)

Norwegian National Competency Service for Children and youths with Rheumatic diseses (NAKBUR)

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