Clinical Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score proves to be a useful tool in treat-to-target therapy in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

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To assess if the Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (JADAS71) could be used to correctly identify patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in need of antitumour necrosis factor therapy (anti-TNF) therapy 3 and 6 months after start of methotrexate (MTX).


Monocentric retrospective cohort study from 2011 to 2015 analysing all patients with oligoarticular JIA (OJIA) (n=39) and polyarticular course JIA (PJIA) (n=74) first starting MTX. Three and 6 months after MTX start, clinical and laboratory features and the 2011 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) JIA treatment recommendations (ACR clinical practice guideline (ACR-CPG)) were compared between groups starting and not starting anti-TNF therapy. The sensitivity and specificity of the ACR-CPG, JADAS71 and the clinical JADAS to identify non-responders after 12 months were calculated.


Physicians escalated patients with significantly higher physician global assessment, clinical JADAS (cJADAS) and patient Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). The decision not to escalate was correct in 70%–75% as shown by MTX response. The implementation of the ACR-CPG would increase the current anti-TNF use from 12% to 65%. The use of (c)JADAS in identifying patients in need of anti-TNF therapy outperformed the ACR-CPG with a much higher sensitivity, specificity and accuracy. The cJADAS threshold for treatment escalation at month 3 and 6 was >5 and >3 for OJIA and >7 and >4 for PJIA, respectively. The performance of the cJADAS decreased when the patient VAS contribution to the total score was restricted and overall did not improve by adding the erythrocyte sedimentation rate.


The cJADAS identifies patients in need of anti-TNF and is a user-friendly tool ready to be used for treat to target in JIA. The patient VAS is a critical item in the cJADAS for the decision to escalate to anti-TNF.

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