Polyarticular-course Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

Polyarticular-Course Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disorder that affects both large and small joints in children under 16 years of age. Polyarticular-Course Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Poly JIA) is a specific form of JIA that affects five or more joints in the body. It is less common than the other two types of JIA, oligoarticular-course and systemic-course. Despite its rarity, Poly JIA can have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life.

Poly JIA is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body’s own immune system attacks its own healthy joints. This causes inflammation and swelling in the joints, leading to pain and stiffness. Left untreated, Poly JIA can cause long-term damage to the joints. In some cases, deformity may result.

Symptoms of Poly JIA include:

  • Pain and stiffness in the joints
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Diagnosing Poly JIA can be tricky because the symptoms vary from person to person, and sometimes the disease can even go into remission. A doctor may diagnose Poly JIA based on a child’s medical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and imaging studies.

Treatment for Poly JIA typically involves a combination of medications designed to reduce disease activity, manage pain, reduce inflammation, and improve joint function. Common medications used to treat Poly JIA include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologic agents. In addition, physical or occupational therapy may be recommended to help keep the joints flexible and the muscles strong.

It is important to note that each child is unique, and treatment plans should be tailored to their individual needs. Working closely with healthcare professionals is often the best way to ensure proper diagnosis and optimal treatment for Poly JIA.