Advances in immunosuppressive treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis

  • Gerd Horneff


Autoimmune diseases tend to be less common in children than in adults, but inci-dences were not studied very well. Systemic autoimmune diseases, in particular, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), juvenile dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis, primary and secondary vasculitis, sarcoidosis and inflammatory bowel disease do occur in childhood and require immunosuppressive treatment. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common systemic autoimmune disease and affects children of every age. During the first year of life, however, it is rare. The incidence is variable but about 10-20 per 100,000 and the prevalence is about 50-100 per 100,000 children below 16 years (Woo and Wedderburn 1998). The term juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has been raised in 1997 at the ILAR meeting (Petty et aL 1998) and will substitute for earlier terms like juvenile arthritis, juvenile rheuma-toid arthritis (Brewer et aL 1977), and juvenile chronic arthritis (JeA). The diagnosis is given in children up to the age of 16 years with chronic arthritis persisting for at least 6 weeks when other possible causes of arthritis have been excluded. Subclassification into six groups has to be performed after a course of the disease of 6 months (Table 1).


Familial Mediterranean Fever Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Juvenile Chronic Arthritis Juvenile Arthritis Juvenile Dermatomyositis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Horneff
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsMartin Luther University Halle-WittenbergHalleFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Universitätsklinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und JugendmedizinHalleFederal Republic of Germany

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