Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 1999 Sep;11(5):372-6. doi: 10.1097/00002281-199909000-00008.


The heterogeneous nature of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is further defined in publications from the past year. Decreased IL-10 production, an anti-inflammatory cytokine, and soluble IL-6 receptor are associated with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). IL-4 may have an anti-inflammatory role in the pathogenesis of pauciarticular JRA and may protect, along with IL-10, against the development of joint erosions. Active JRA is associated with lower levels of platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase, which may contribute to the loss of anti-inflammatory activity and increased risk of atherogenesis. The phase 3 clinical trial of etanercept confirmed its efficacy and safety in JRA. Intra-articular steroids are safe and effective in the treatment of JRA. Methotrexate does have disease-modifying effects. The risk of hepatotoxicity with methotrexate use increases with serial transaminase abnormalities and with obesity. Osteoclasts are responsible for joint erosions. Cyclosporine A, mycophenolate mofetil, and methotrexate are effective in the treatment of refractory uveitis. During the past year a number of scientific publications have contributed significantly to our understanding and treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / therapy*
  • Child
  • Humans