Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a broad term that describes a clinically heterogeneous group of arthritides of unknown cause, which begin before 16 years of age. This term encompasses several disease categories, each of which has distinct presentation, clinical manifestations, and, presumably, genetic background and etiopathogenesis. Although none of the available drugs has curative potential, prognosis has greatly improved as a result of substantial progresses in disease management. The most important new development has been the introduction of the biologic medications, which constitute a valuable treatment option for patients who are resistant to conventional antirheumatic agents. Further insights into the disease pathogenesis and treatment will be provided by the continuous advances in understanding of the mechanisms related to the immune response and inflammatory process, and by the development of new drugs that are capable of selectively inhibiting single molecules or pathways.
Keywords: Biologics; Biomarkers; Drug safety; Imaging; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Outcome measures.