Zdravstveni dom Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenija
Služba za alergologijo, revmatologijo in klinično imunologijo Pediatrična klinika, Univerzitetni klinični center Ljubljana, Ljubljana
Unrecognized and inadequately treated arthritis in childhood leads to permanent joint damage. As such, early discovery and immediate treatment is imperative. Arthritis can be acute, or chronic if it lasts six or more weeks. Diagnosis should be done step by step and if necessary, the patient should be referred to a paediatric specialist, depending on the cause of arthritis. Each child undergoes basic laboratory investigations. Imaging studies should be performed in patients with monoarthritis. In this article we describe the most common causes of acute and chronic arthritis in children, and an algorithm approach to treating a child with arthritis that can be useful for doctors who treat children.
Key words: arthritis, child, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, algorithms