A Single-Center Experience of Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at a Tertiary Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Background and Objective: Systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a major and prevalent subset of arthritis among children and it has a broad spectrum of clinical presentation, course and prognosis. This study described the clinical presentation of systemic-onset JIA in a Saudi-based cohort. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of the medical records of children with systemic-onset JIA who were followed up at King Abdul Aziz University Hospital, Jeddah, between January 1997 and December 2013. Patients’ files were reviewed for demographic, clinical, and paraclinical data, which were analyzed using the statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Results: We included 20 patients of both genders (8 boys and 12 girls). The mean age of disease onset was 7 (4.5) years. The most common presenting symptoms were fever (100%), arthritis (100%), and rash (55%). Hepatomegaly (5%), abdominal (5%) and pulmonary manifestations (3%) were less frequent manifestations. Most patients had high white blood cell counts (50%), elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rates (80%) and C-reactive protein levels (90%). The interval between onset of symptoms and diagnosis was 9.4 (12.5) weeks. Patients were treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, methotrexate, steroids, anti-tumor necrosis agents, and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Bone marrow biopsy was conducted to exclude malignancy in 20% of the patients. Conclusion: Saudi children with systemic-onset JIA present with prolonged fever and arthritis (mainly oligoarticular rather than polyarticular). Physicians should be aware of the presentation of systemic-onset JIA in our setting in order to make prompt diagnosis and treatment decisions as early as possible. Carful follow-up of febrile patients is paramount to reaching the diagnosis early and initiating treatment.

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Garout, W. and Muzaffer, M. (2014) A Single-Center Experience of Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at a Tertiary Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, 4, 212-218. doi: 10.4236/ojra.2014.44029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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