Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is not uncommon in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
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Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), characterised by aqueous tear deficiency, is the most common ocular complication in adult rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), however, it remains under-reported. For this prospective study, 50 children with JRA were examined clinically and underwent tests for KCS (Schirmer's I and rose bengal tests, fluorescein staining, and tear film breakup time). Six children (12%) with two or more abnormal tests were diagnosed as having definite KCS, while one child with only one abnormal test was labelled with probable KCS. Five of the six (83.3%) with definite KCS were males, and three (50%) had a pauciarticular form of the disease. Two children (33.3%) with definite KCS had no ocular symptoms, five were receiving only nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and one was additionally on methotrexate. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca appears to be a common ocular complication and all children with JRA should be screened for it with a comprehensive battery of tests.
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