Kids do suffer with arthritis similar to adults. All type of autoimmune rheumatologic diseases seen in adults are also seen in children. They differ from adult counterparts in terms of presentation, course, and response to therapy. These diseases will have variable severity and prognosis.
Children are vulnerable for severe organ damage, crippling deformities compared to adults accompanied by remarkable influence on physical and emotional development. Kids have to suffer with these chronic type of illness for a longer period and as a consequence are prone to have more drug related complications as compared to adults.
Children present with pain, swelling at one or more joints, back pain, neck pain, heel pains, skin rash, growth restriction, decreased hunger, weight loss, fever, cardiopulmonary and neuropsychiatric manifestations depending on organ effected by the primary disease.
Flares of disease may occur as a de novo presentation in adulthood, often after years of remission and may be the first presentation to adult services.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common chronic inflammatory arthritis in children and young people after ruling out others potential causes of childhood arthritis like malignancies, hemoglobinopathies etc. An estimated one-third of individuals will have persistent active disease into adulthood.
The commonly seen pediatric connective tissue diseases include juvenile dermatomyositis, juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), childhood scleroderma, overlap disorders and less clearly differentiated conditions.
Apart from JIA and connective tisuue diseases they can also have vasculitic disorders like Kawasaki disease, henoch schonlein purpura, takayasu, polyarteritis nodosa etc.