What is the significance of a finding of anterior uveitis in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: David D Sherry, MD; Chief Editor: Lawrence K Jung, MD  more...
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Answer

Anterior uveitis (seen in the image below) is present in as many as 20% of children with oligoarticular and polyarticular JIA, especially those who are antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive. The uveitis is typically asymptomatic at onset and must be screened for with an ophthalmologic slit lamp examination.

Generally, children who were 6 years of age or younger at onset (especially of oligoarticular and psoriatic arthritis) and have a positive ANA test are screened by slit lamp exam every 3 months for 4 years or more and then every 6 months until at least 7 years after diagnosis. [20] Thereafter they are screened yearly for life.

Children who are at lesser risk (ie, have polyarticular disease and are ANA negative), are screened every 6 months for 7 years and then yearly. Children with systemic JIA are at very low risk and are screened yearly.


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