What are the complications of oligoarticular and psoriatic 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

Complications of oligoarticular JIA and psoriatic arthritis include joint contractures, uveitis, and leg-length discrepancy. Uveitis is almost always asymptomatic and more frequent in young girls who have positive levels of antinuclear antibody. Evaluation with a slit-lamp every 4 months by a pediatric ophthalmologist can detect early disease to prevent permanent eye damage and even blindness.

Leg-length discrepancy may complicate unilateral knee involvement. In young children, it may result from neovascularization of growth plates, so the involved limb is longer. In early puberty, unilateral arthritis can lead to premature fusion of the epiphysis, in which case the short limb is on the affected side. The problem may not be detected in patients with a knee flexion contracture until the contracture is corrected. Both flexion contractures and leg-length discrepancies are much less frequent with early intervention.


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