Background Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is not a single disease but a term used to classify a group of inflammatory rheumatic diseases (Arthritis) of unknown etiology (Idiopathic) diagnosed before the patient reaches 16 years of age (Juvenile). Many of these conditions remain active until adulthood and when patients are followed by adult Rheumatologists they may be followed continually by the same physician. Some investigators have published papers regarding the transition of these conditions into adulthood. The aim of this is to analyze the characteristics of 196 JIA patients, currently in their adulthood, that have been followed, in most of their disease, by the same Rheumatologist with a follow-up time superior to 30 years in some cases.
Objectives To evaluate a cohort of patients with diagnosis of JIA from inicial presentation until adulthood and to determine the evolution regarding definitive diagnosis.
Methods This study includes 196 patients currently in their adult age from a sample of 359 JIA patients, continuously followed by the first author in Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Rheumatology Consultation at IPR and Private Practice. All these patients are registered in REUMA.PT, the National Registry for rheumatic diseases of the Sociedade Portuguesa de Reumatologia.
Results The group included 121 female and 75 male patients, with a mean age of 30.2±11.0 years, having mean disease duration of 21.0±11.2 years. The presentation forms and definitive diagnosis are listed below. Fifty nine of these patients are in complete and prolonged off therapy remission and 3 of them have secondary amyloidosis, as a complication of JIA. In regards to the treatment, 103 patients were treated with methotrexate, 39 are or were previously treated with biological agents, and 28 had been subjected to intra-articular injections (triamcinolone hexacetonide). Other aspects concerning therapy, morbidity and mortality were also analyzed. All of these patients are registered in SPR database (REUMA.PT).
Conclusions It's clear that JIA are a group of severe joint diseases that affects children and may continue to affect these patients throughout their adult life. A significative group of these patients can be classified as Juvenile Spondylarthritis (73/196 =37%) This analysis shows that JIAs are not a benign and self-limiting disease group, being essential to ensure the proper continuity of rheumatologic care for these patients in adulthood.
Disclosure of Interest None declared