The Challenges and Opportunities of Classifying Childhood Arthritis

  • Dax G. RumseyEmail author
  • Ronald M. Laxer
Pediatric Rheumatology (S Ozen, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pediatric Rheumatology


Purpose of Review

Childhood arthritis is in need of a new system of classification, owing to deficiencies in the International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) criteria. We briefly review the history of classification of childhood arthritis, discuss the major criticisms of the current system, and highlight current initiatives to address those concerns.

Recent Findings

Recent studies in both pediatric and adult rheumatology into the biologic basis of disease as well as the clinical patterns of presentation have informed the efforts toward developing a new classification system.


Several efforts are currently underway to improve the classification of childhood arthritis, most notably the project of the Pediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization (PRINTO). This international alliance of pediatric rheumatologists has begun a 4-step process to create new classification criteria for childhood arthritis. They are currently on step 3 of the process.


Childhood arthritis Classification JIA ILAR PRINTO 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Rumsey and Dr. Laxer declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Division of RheumatologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Paediatrics and Medicine, Division of RheumatologyUniversity of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

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