What is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: David D Sherry, MD; Chief Editor: Lawrence K Jung, MD  more...
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Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is the most common chronic rheumatologic disease in children and is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood (see the image below). The etiology is unknown, and the genetic component is complex, making clear distinctions between the various subtypes difficult. A new nomenclature, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is being increasingly used to provide better definition of subgroups.

Eighteen-month-old girl with arthritis in her righ Eighteen-month-old girl with arthritis in her right knee. Note the flexion contracture of that knee.

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