Spondyloarthritis Presents Differently in Kids

According to a story from medpagetoday.com, researchers are beginning to realize that symptoms of pediatric spondyloarthritis present themselves in a distinct way when compared to the symptoms that are experienced by adult patients. For example, common symptoms of spondyloarthritis include sacroiliitis and axial involvement, but in a patient group of 114 patients under age 16, these were only present in around 29 percent and 35 percent respectively.
Spondyloarthritis is a term describing any disease of the vertebral column that presents with inflammation. Generally, the term is not for a specific condition, but can in fact be a component of a variety of joint diseases, such as late onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis and psoriatric arthritis. In the latter disease, the condition presents itself in around 40 to 50 percent of cases. Overall, the condition is not particularly well understood compared to other inflammatory joint diseases.

In adults, spondyloarthritis presents itself with lower back pain that tends to recede with activity and exercise. In the patient group, the symptoms such as sacroiliitis and axial involvement did ultimately present themselves eventually; axial disease occurred at 63 percent after a median 2.6 years, and sarcroiliitis was present in 47 percent of patients by around 5.3 years. In the patient group, nearly 28 percent had a previous family history of the condition. 43 percent also tested positive for HLA-B27, an antigen that is strongly associated with the illness.

When using MRIs to in order to investigate the affected areas, doctors were quick to note that sacroiliitis can easily be confused with the cartilaginous growth plates that are also present in young patients. Overall, the study concluded that spondyloarthritis often appeared first as inflammation in other joints aside from the vertebral column at first, and then ultimately progressed into the more conventional form that is typically seen in adults.

The cause for this is unknown, but it is valuable info for diagnostic purposes. The study also noted that significance of family history in determining treatment outcomes. While a significant portion of the patient group eventually experienced disease remission, family history was the most comprehensive factor in patients that still experiences sacroiliitis and active disease by the end of the study period. Hopefully, this new info will lead to new approaches in handling these conditions when they appear in young people.

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