Definition: chronic arthritis beginning in childhood, most cases of which are pauciarticular, affecting few joints. Several patterns of illness have been identified. In one subset, primarily affecting girls, iritis is common and antinuclear antibody is usually present; another subset, primarily affecting boys, frequently includes spinal arthritis resembling ankylosing spondylitis. Some cases are true rheumatoid arthritis beginning in childhood and characterized by the presence of rheumatoid factor and destructive deforming joint changes, often going into remission at puberty.
Synonym(s): juvenile chronic arthritis
See Also: Still disease