Juvenile eosinophilic fasciitis: a single center case series

Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2024 Feb 24;22(1):29. doi: 10.1186/s12969-024-00960-w.


Background: Eosinophilic fasciitis (EF) is a rare disease characterized by skin induration and musculoskeletal abnormalities. Diagnostic criteria for EF are based on adult populations. There is a need to expand the literature on EF in children due to limited reported cases and potential differences compared to adults.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of medical records for six pediatric patients diagnosed with EF at our institution between November 2011 and April 2023. Inclusion criteria required patients to be under 18 years of age at the time of diagnosis and to have confirmed diagnosis through clinical history, imaging, and histology.

Results: Most of our cohort were female (83%) and non-Hispanic white (50%). Age at diagnosis ranged from 4 to 16 years. Duration of symptoms before diagnosis varied from 1 to 12 months. Follow-up periods ranged from 14 to 123 months. Concurrent medical conditions included localized scleroderma, acquired thrombophilia, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Patients presented with progressive painful swelling, severe joint limitations, and positive prayer sign. Initial regimens involved corticosteroids and methotrexate. Hydroxychloroquine, immunoglobulin, mycophenolate mofetil, rituximab, and tocilizumab were also used depending on the patient's disease severity and course.

Conclusions: Juvenile EF may manifest as swelling and progressive induration without apparent skin abnormalities. Unlike adult populations, no underlying malignancies or associations with trauma were observed in our cohort. Our cases did not exhibit systemic involvement observed in previous studies on juvenile EF. While non-specific, the prayer sign may aid in early recognition of juvenile EF and help prevent long-term disability.

Keywords: Autoimmune; Juvenile eosinophilic fasciitis; Juvenile localized scleroderma; Methotrexate; Pediatric rheumatology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eosinophilia* / complications
  • Eosinophilia* / diagnosis
  • Eosinophilia* / drug therapy
  • Fasciitis* / complications
  • Fasciitis* / diagnosis
  • Fasciitis* / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use


  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • Eosinophilic Fasciitis