How is leukemia differentiated from 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

Patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia can present with joint pain and arthritis. Expansion of lymphoblasts in bone metaphyses results in pain, which is typically severe and may awaken the child from sleep. Thrombocytopenia is rare in children with JIA; its presence suggests the possibility of leukemia. Lymphocytosis is also uncharacteristic of JIA and likewise raises the possibility of leukemia, particularly when neutropenia is present.


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