Diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

The diagnosis of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis may be difficult since joint pains are a common condition in children (as they are prone to injury while playing). There is no single specific test for Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and so a doctor may suggest a number of tests. These tests help to eliminate all the other possible causes of the symptoms. The following blood tests are requested in cases of suspected juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR): The rate at which the red blood cells settle down in a test tube is known as the sedimentation rate. An increased rate of sedimentation may be indicative of inflammation. Any measurement or reading indicative of this could help to negate other possibilities. This also helps to determine the kind of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis as also the extent to which the inflammation has occurred.
  • C-reactive Protein: The test helps to determine the level of overall soreness or swelling that the body has.
  • Anti-nuclear Antibody: These antibodies refer to proteins released by the immune system in those people with autoimmune diseases.
  • Rheumatoid Factor: This antibody is usually seen in adults suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP): CCP refers to another antibody which is seen in adult blood mainly those affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
In most cases, there are almost no major abnormalities that are seen in the blood sample taken from a child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The doctor may aspirate the fluid from the joint before making a definite diagnosis. Imagining scans/ X-ray tests are also very important as they help to rule out other possible causes such as:

  • Fractures
  • Infections
These tests can also form an important part of the post- diagnosis process as it helps to monitor the bones and joints and pinpoint problem areas. 
  1. Edward H. Giannini, James T. Cassidy, Earl J. Brewer, Alexander Shaikov, Alexei Maximov, Nina Kuzmina, Comparative efficacy and safety of advanced drug therapy in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, Volume 23, Issue 1, August 1993, Pages 34-46, ISSN 0049-0172, 10.1016/S0049-0172(05)80025-3.
  2. Rosario Di Toro, Cesare Polito, Nutrition in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Nutrition Research, Volume 17, Issue 4, April 1997, Pages 741-758, ISSN 0271-5317, 10.1016/S0271-5317(97)00044-4.