Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis—assessment Authors
Symposium: Rheumatology Part I
Cite this article as: Graham, T.B. & Giannini, E.H. Indian J Pediatr (1996) 63: 283. doi:10.1007/BF02751520 Abstract
The assessment of overall health status of a child with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is complex and multi-dimentional. The general physical examination is complemented by a rheumatological evaluation that includes determination of articular indices of inflammation and duration of inactivity stiffness. Laboratory assessment plays a critical role in monitoring side effects of pharmacologic management, but is limited in its ability to portray accurately the degree of active inflammation. Newly measureable indicators of inflammatory activity, such as serum cytokine and soluble cytokine receptors will likely become part of routine laboratory assessment in the future. Radiographs remain a useful tool for assessing disease progression, but may be replaced in the future by magnetic resonance imaging.
In recent years, rheumatologists have realized that measurement of overall physical and psycho-social functional ability, quality of life, and pain are major descriptors to consider during routine follow-up. They are also critical in the assessment of long-term clinical effectiveness. The importance of nutritional assessment has also been realized.
This section seeks to describe some of the methodologic approaches currently used to assess the variables mentioned above, and includes a brief discussion of the evolving instrumentation which attempts to measure variables of a more cognitive or subjective aspect.
Key words Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis Method of assessment References
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© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 1996