What You Need to Know About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Types of JRA

Doctors classify cases of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis into different types by the number of joints involved, the symptoms that develop, and the presence or absence of certain antibodies (special proteins made by the immune system) found by a blood test. These classifications help healthcare providers determine how the disease will progress and whether the internal organs or skin is affected.
 
The three different types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are:
 
  • Pauciarticular (affecting four or fewer joints)
  • Polyarticular (affecting five or more joints)
  • Systemic (affecting the whole body).
     
(Click Types of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis to learn more about each of these types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.)
 

Symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

In general, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is not a lifelong condition; symptoms usually get better after several months or years. During this time, there may be periods when the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are better or disappear (remissions) and times when symptoms are worse (flare-ups).
 
In general, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may include one or several of the following:
 
  • Joint swelling and pain
  • Decreased range of motion within the affected joints
  • Problems of growth and development
  • Spiking fevers
  • Unexplained rash
  • Inflammation within other organs, such as the heart or eyes.
     
By identifying the type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis involved in an individual's case, healthcare providers will have a better idea of what to expect and will be better able to address possible complications that may occur.
 
(Click Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms for more information about possible symptoms of JRA.)
 
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Juvenile Arthritis

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