Similarities in clinical course and outcome between juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated and ANA-positive idiopathic anterior uveitis: data from a population-based nationwide study in Germany

Arthritis Res Ther. 2020 Apr 15;22(1):81. doi: 10.1186/s13075-020-02166-3.


Background: To analyze whether ANA-positive idiopathic anterior uveitis differs from JIA-associated uveitis concerning clinical course, response to treatment, and disease outcome.

Methods: Prospective study of the National Paediatric Rheumatological Database (NPRD) including its uveitis add-on module from the years 2002 to 2016. Cross-sectional data from the years 2002 to 2016 were analyzed. Patients with JIA-associated uveitis and with ANA-positive idiopathic anterior uveitis were included and the disease manifestation investigated in terms of uveitis characteristics and disease course.

Results: Of the total cohort of 34,458 patients enrolled in the NPRD, including 3551 patients with uveitis, those with detailed uveitis documentation were taken into account: 62 ANA-positive patients with idiopathic anterior uveitis (group 1), 688 patients with initial uveitis diagnosis after JIA onset (group 2), and 61 JIA patients with initial uveitis diagnosis before arthritis onset (group 3). Anterior uveitis was documented in 100%, 94%, and 80% of patients and with insidious onset of uveitis flare in 50%, 70.9%, and 56.1% each in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Use of topical or systemic corticosteroids and conventional synthetic or biological DMARDs did not significantly differ between the patient groups, either at the initial or the 2-year follow-up (2-FU) visits (mean 2 years, each p > 0.05). At 2-FU, uveitis inactivity was achieved in 64.7%, 55.8%, and 61.5% of patients in groups 1, 2, and 3 (p > 0.05). Uveitis-related complications were more frequent at the initial visit and at 2-FU in groups 1 and 3, as compared to group 2.

Conclusions: ANA-positive idiopathic uveitis and JIA-associated uveitis do not significantly differ concerning clinical course of uveitis, treatment, and response to corticosteroids and DMARDs.

Keywords: Complications; Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Population-based study; Uveitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / immunology
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / complications*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveitis / drug therapy*
  • Uveitis / etiology*
  • Uveitis / pathology
  • Uveitis, Anterior / drug therapy*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / immunology
  • Uveitis, Anterior / pathology*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Antirheumatic Agents