Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in Adults: Long-Term Observation of Ukrainian Patients

  • Marta Dzhus O.O. Bohomolets National Medical University
Keywords: adult juvenile idiopathic arthritis, outcome, transformation


The assessment of long-term outcome of functional disability and disease activeness in adult patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis appears to be complicated due to the absence of a unified approach to the classification and estimation of disease activeness, as well as the loss of supervision over a patient because of remission or his/her transition from pediatric to adult rheumatic service. 

The objective of the research was to determine how adults with the history of juvenile idiopathic arthritis fulfill the classification criteria for adult rheumatic diseases, as well as to assess activeness of these diseases, the degree of functional disorders, and social activeness of patients in Ukraine. 

Materials and methods. Patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis older than 18 years and with more than 3 years of disease duration living in different parts of Ukraine were included into the study. Data regarding sociodemographic features, fulfillment of adult classification criteria, Health Assessment Questionnaire, articular and extra-articular Juvenile Arthritis Damage Index and disease activity were analyzed.

Results. We observed 122 adult patients with the history of juvenile idiopathic arthritis irrespective of the presence of active inflammation at the moment of the examination. This group included patients from different regions of Ukraine diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis during 1984-2013. An adult rheumatologist examined all patients and the diagnosis was revised according to the adult classification of rheumatic diseases. Typical diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis were estimated in 32.8% of patients, ankylosing spondylitis – in 31.1% of patients, undifferentiated arthritis – in 13.9% of patients, Still’s disease – in 4.9% of patients, psoriatic arthritis – in 0.8% of patients, steady clinical laboratory remission – in 16.5% of patients. Most patients (81.8%) with rheumatoid factor positive polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis fell under rheumatoid arthritis criteria in adulthood, and in 85% of patients with enthesitis-related arthritis as well as 53.8% of patients with extended oligoarthritis ankylosing spondylitis developed in adulthood. 68.8% of patients with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, 68% of patients with rheumatoid factor negative polyarthritic subtype and 55% of patients with enthesitis-related arthritis had disability and incapacitation. Minimal disorders of the patients’ general condition according to the Health Assessment Questionnaire in adult age were found in most subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis classified according to the International League of Associations for Rheumatology (extended and persistent oligoarthritis, rheumatoid factor positive polyarthritis, systemic subtype); moderate disorders of the general condition were found in enthesitis-related arthritis and rheumatoid factor negative polyarthritis. Side effects of juvenile idiopathic arthritis according to the articular Juvenile Arthritis Damage Index included severe articular damage being most frequently found in systemic and rheumatoid factor positive polyarthritis subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, while side effects of juvenile idiopathic arthritis according to the extra-articular Juvenile Arthritis Damage Index included extra-articular damage being found in systemic and rheumatoid factor negative polyarthritis subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, that was confirmed by the assessment of physical health according to the Short Form Health Survey-36, which was the worst in patients with systemic (40.3±12.6) and rheumatoid factor negative polyarthritis (38.9±9.4) subtypes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Conclusions. Further research of remote consequences of juvenile idiopathic arthritis in adult age and long-term observation of such patients require a detailed study to improve diagnostics and provide adequate treatment of rheumatic diseases with juvenile onset in adult age.

Author Biography

Marta Dzhus, O.O. Bohomolets National Medical University
Department of internal Medicine 2, docent


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