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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2010 Feb;62(2):204-12. doi: 10.1002/acr.20069.

Clinical course and prognostic value of disease activity in the first two years in different subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

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  • 1Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a heterogeneous disease involving chronic arthritis. The clinical course is characterized by a fluctuating pattern of active and inactive disease. We have described in detail the clinical course in different JIA subtypes during the first 2 years after diagnosis and studied its relationship to disease activity in the following years.

METHODS:

Detailed clinical data on different parameters describing the disease activity in sequential time periods covering the first 2 years after diagnosis were retrieved from the charts of 311 patients with JIA and compared between subtypes. In a cohort of 146 patients, the relation of these different clinical variables to the course of disease in the following 3 years was evaluated.

RESULTS:

The percentage of time with active disease in the first 2 years differed significantly between subtypes. In all subtypes, a broad spectrum of activity was observed. The time with active disease in the first 2 years was the most significant factor associated with the duration of active disease in the following years.

CONCLUSION:

Different percentages of time with active disease have been observed between JIA subtypes in the first 2 years. The cumulative duration of activity varied widely within each subtype. Regarding the prognosis of the individual patient, the clinical course in the first 2 years appears to be predictive of the clinical course in the following years. Patients that have less time with active disease in the first 2 years are not likely to develop an unremitting clinical course later on.

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