JUVENILE RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS: POLYARTICULAR AND PAUCIARTICULAR JRA AND MORE What is polyarticular JRA?Polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is arthritis in five or more joints. About 40 percent of the children with JRA have this form and often have rheumatoid factor in their blood.Peculiarly, this rheumatoid-factor-positive form of arthritis is found mostly in little girls around 8 years of age. Boys do get this form of JRA, but girls outnumber them three to one. These little girls often have bone erosions, many nodules, and a more aggressive disease than the children without the rheumatoid factor. In that regard, this form of JRA resembles the adult form more than any other. These children often experience fatigue, listlessness, growth retardation, blanched bones (osteopenia), loss of appetite, and often extreme and unexplained weight loss.
What is pauciarticular JRA?In pauciarticular JRA, arthritis is present in four or fewer joints. This form is usually categorized as early onset or late onset. Early onset pauciarticular JRA strikes very young-usually around 1 to 5 years of age-and affects girls primarily at a ratio of four to one. The late onset form strikes children over the age of 5 and occurs mostly in boys. It is characterized by pain and inflammation of the large joints and the tendons and ligaments.
What eye problems affect those with JRA?For some reason, children with JRA can experience severe irreversible eye changes that include everything from cataracts to partial visual loss. Eye problems occur most commonly in children with early onset pauciarticular disease, although they can affect any child with JRA. The eye problems begin with painful red eyes and occur in four out of five children with pauciarticular JRA. Children with JRA should have their eyes examined regularly.*20/141/5*
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