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Clin Rheumatol. 1998;17(6):551-3.

Bone mineral density in children with juvenile chronic arthritis.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hacettepe University, School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.


The aim of this study was to evaluate bone mineral density changes in patients with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA) and to determine the most likely causes of osteoporosis in these patients. Eighteen (11 male, 7 female) patients suffering from JCA and 14 healthy controls (10 male, four female) were included in this study. The mean age of the patients and control groups were 11.0 +/- 3.2 and 10.9 +/- 2.9 years respectively. Disease activity was determined by clinical and laboratory evaluation and 'Articular Disease Severity Score' (ADSS). Bone mineral density (BMD) of the femoral neck and lumbar spine was measured by dual photon absorptiometry. BMD of the patients at the lumbar spine was significantly lower than the control group (p < 0.05). This difference was more marked in patients treated with steroids. Femoral neck BMD was also lower in the patient group but this difference was not statistically significant. There was a negative correlation between ADSS and BMD at the spine. In conclusion, trabecular bone loss is characteristic for osteoporosis in JCA. Our results indicate that steroid treatment and disease severity are important factors in the development of osteoporosis in JCA.

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