Spondylarthropathies in children--are they different from those in adults?

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2006 Apr;20(2):315-28. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2005.12.001.


Juvenile spondylarthropathies (JSpAs) comprise a group of rheumatic diseases distinct from other categories of juvenile arthritis. Several classification systems have been applied, and some are specific for children, such as the seronegative enthesopathy and arthropathy (SEA) syndrome and the enthesitis-related arthritis, diagnostic forms in the International League of Associations for Rheumatism (ILAR) classification. JSpA seems more frequent than was previously believed, but actual epidemiological data show important variations between studies. Compared to adult patients, children with JSpA present with peripheral arthritis and enthesitis early in disease but sacroiliac and spine joints involvement many years later. A multidisciplinary team in a paediatric environment should be responsible for the management of children with spondylarthropathies to ensure the best care for these children with their chronic disease and risk of long-term disability. Recent advances in the treatment of rheumatic diseases with biological agents show promising results in children with JSpA. Further research needs to be conducted to increase our knowledge of the long-term outcome of these patients, to improve management, and to prevent long-term consequences of the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • HLA-B27 Antigen / analysis
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spondylarthropathies / diagnosis*
  • Spondylarthropathies / epidemiology
  • Spondylarthropathies / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • HLA-B27 Antigen