Spondyloarthropathy presenting at a young age: case report and review

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Abstract

The diagnosis of juvenile spondyloarthritis (JSA) is rarely entertained in young children who present with back and leg pain. We present a case of a 6-year-old male who presented with a 3-year history of severe back and leg pain and a positive Gower's sign, and was given a presumed diagnosis of muscular dystrophy. Presenting serologic evaluation included a mildly elevated sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein (CRP). Computed tomography of the pelvis demonstrated large erosions affecting both sacro-iliac joints. Despite the unusually young age of this patient, ankylosing spondylitis seemed the most plausible diagnosis. Following rheumatological evaluation and treatment for JSA, he showed significant clinical improvement. His disease, however, has not entirely remitted with signs of enthesitis at the Achilles tendon and knees.

We present this case to illustrate that JSA could account for symptoms at an early age and not considering it could lead to multiple medical visits and diagnoses. To our knowledge, based on a search of the World literature, this would appear to be the youngest case of JSA reported with demonstrable severe sacroiliitis.

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