What is the role of radiography in the workup of 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

When only a single joint is affected, radiography is important to exclude other diseases, such as osteomyelitis. Basic radiographic changes in JIA (see the images below) include the following:

  • Soft tissue swelling

  • Osteopenia and/or osteoporosis

  • Joint-space narrowing

  • Bony erosions

  • Intra-articular bony ankylosis

  • Periosteitis

  • Growth disturbances

  • Epiphyseal compression fracture

  • Joint subluxation

  • Synovial cysts

    Ankylosis in the cervical spine at several levels Ankylosis in the cervical spine at several levels due to long-standing juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis).
    Widespread osteopenia, carpal crowding (due to car Widespread osteopenia, carpal crowding (due to cartilage loss), and several erosions affecting the carpal bones and metacarpal heads in particular in a child with advanced juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis).

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