Juvenile idiopathic arthritis in the new world of biologics

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Abstract

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis results in significant pain and disability in both children and adults. Advances in treatment resulting in improved long-term outcomes have occurred; however, an emphasis on early and aggressive diagnosis and management hopes to improve outcomes further. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis remains a clinical diagnosis of exclusion, but further research may delineate biological markers associated with the disease and its subtypes. Therapy for patients includes intra-articular steroid injections, disease modifying agents such as methotrexate and biological agents. Biological agents have provided exciting new therapeutic options in the last decade; however, long-term side effects of modulating the immune system are not yet fully understood. Systemic steroids may also be required but their long-term use is avoided. Uveitis needs to be screened for in all of those with the diagnosis. Multidisciplinary team care is required in managing these young people.

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