Healthy Living

Understanding Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pauciarticular JRA, the most common form

Pauciarticular JRA is the most common form of JRA, affecting four joints or less (the term ‘pauci’ meaning few). It mainly affects the large joints, such as the ankles or the knees. Around 50% of all children with JRA suffer from this type and young girls under the ages of 8 are more susceptible to its development. Some children with polyarticular JRA have antinuclear antibodies (ANA), which are abnormal proteins found in the blood. Therefore, they are more likely to be affected by eye diseases, such as iritis (inflammation of the iris) or uveitis (inflammation of the inner eyes). A majority of children with this disease outgrow JRA when they reach adulthood, but eye problems may persist. For this reason, undergoing eye examinations by an ophthalmologist on a regular basis is vital to preventing and treating eye problems before they have a chance to become more severe.