Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis ( JIA ) and its diagnosis

Dr. S. Sriram

JIA is the most common cause of chronic (lasts more than 6 week) arthritis in children. It is of different types depending on the clinical signs and symptoms. In JIA child has joint pain associated with swelling and along with this may have fever, skin rash, lymph node enlargement, backache, red eye, or pain in sole/heel.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis ( JIA ) and its diagnosis
What are its common symptoms?
It usually with joint pain associated with swelling, which may involve one to several joints. The child may have malaise, fever fatigue and stiffness in the morning. Some children have high grade fever, skin rash and gland enlargement along with joint pain.

Why did my chlid get it?
The exact reason why it occurs is not know. Genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role but it is not a hereditary disease as only 5% of children have a family history.
How is it diagnosed?
There is no diagnostic test for JIA. The diagnosis is made by presence of symptoms and signs. Some simple tests are done to excule other diseases and to know the severity of disease.
How to confirm the diagnosis?
A diagnosis could take months as the disease unfolds and as the doctor is able to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. Diagnosis is made clinically by the doctor familiar with the disease. There is no direct blood test that can confirm the diagnosis. Special tests may be ordered to evaluate your lung status ( such as a chest X-ray, pulmonary function tests) and gastrointestinal tract function.

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