Toward New Classification Criteria for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: First Steps, Pediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization International Consensus

J Rheumatol. 2019 Feb;46(2):190-197. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.180168. Epub 2018 Oct 1.


Objective: To revise the current juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) classification criteria with an evidence-based approach, using clinical and routine laboratory measures available worldwide, to identify homogeneous clinical groups and to distinguish those forms of chronic arthritis typically seen only in children from the childhood counterpart of adult diseases.

Methods: The overall project consists of 4 steps. This work represents Step 1, a Delphi Web-based consensus and Step 2, an international nominal group technique (NGT) consensus conference for the new provisional Pediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization JIA classification criteria. A future large data collection of at least 1000 new-onset JIA patients (Step 3) followed by analysis and NGT consensus (Step 4) will provide data for the evidence-based validation of the JIA classification criteria.

Results: In Step 1, three Delphi rounds of interactions were implemented to revise the 7 ILAR JIA categories. In Step 2, forty-seven questions with electronic voting were implemented to derive the new proposed criteria. Four disorders were proposed: (a) systemic JIA; (b) rheumatoid factor-positive JIA; (c) enthesitis/spondylitis-related JIA; and (d) early-onset antinuclear antibody-positive JIA. The other forms were gathered under the term "others." These will be analyzed during the prospective data collection using a list of descriptors to see whether the clustering of some of them could identify homogeneous entities.

Conclusion: An international consensus was reached to identify different proposed homogeneous chronic disorders that fall under the historical term JIA. These preliminary criteria will be formally validated with a dedicated project.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / classification*
  • Child
  • Consensus*
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Rheumatoid Factor
  • Rheumatology / methods*
  • Societies, Medical
  • Spondylitis
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Rheumatoid Factor