Classification of juvenile arthritis
There are two traditional classifications of juvenile arthritis: the European classification of juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA) and the American classification of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Because these classifications break down into different categories, European and American research findings and treatment recommendations are difficult to use interchangeably.1
In an effort to improve research and treatment, the International League Against Rheumatism has devised a unifying set of international criteria, using the term "juvenile idiopathic arthritis" (JIA). The word "idiopathic" means "of unknown cause." First proposed in 1995 and later revised in 1997, this classification is gaining favor among researchers and health professionals but is not yet universally used.
|Organization||Classification||Length of illness before diagnosis|
|American College of Rheumatology||Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)
JRA does not include similar types of childhood arthritis (juvenile ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile psoriatic arthritis).
|European League Against Rheumatism||Juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA)
|International League Against Rheumatism||Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
Regardless of the classification, children who develop symptoms before reaching 16 years of age are considered to have juvenile arthritis.
- Duffy CM, et al. (2005). Nomenclature and classification in chronic childhood arthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 52(2): 382–385.
- Warren RW, et al. (2005). Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis). In WJ Koopman, LW Moreland, eds., Arthritis and Allied Conditions, 15th ed., vol. 1, pp. 1277–1300. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Last Updated: June 25, 2008