A Deeper Look At Eye Inflammation Caused By Enthesitis-Related Arthritis

As reported in Physicians Weekly; a new study wanted to further characterize Enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA), a subtype of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) that is often is accompanied by anterior uveitis, a type of eye inflammation.
They wanted to understand ERA-related uveitis, looking at the prevalence and characteristics of the rare correlated condition. This inspired cross-dimensional data, using the large datasets of the National Pediatric Rheumatological Database (NPRD) to illustrate the occurrence of the rare ocular inflammation.

Enthesitis-Related Arthritis (ERA)

Enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA) is a subtype of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), a type of arthritis that affects youth due to unknown causes. The rare inflammatory disorder is caused by the immune system, which mistakenly attacks itself. Common symptoms include the condition’s characteristic joint pain, as well as swelling, stiffness, inflammation, and limited motion. They also may have skin rashes, fevers, swollen lymph nodes, and eye inflammation, which can be severe.  There are therapies and medications, but no cure.


Uveitis is a type of eye inflammation on the uvea. It can be due to a number of diseases and conditions and has many subtypes with distinct symptoms. Patients typically experience redness, eye pain, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, dark spots, and vision loss. These symptoms can come on suddenly and severely, often without a clear cause. Treatments depend on the type of uveitis but include drugs that reduce inflammation, fight bacteria and viruses, or that improve the immune system.  Other patients use eye drops, steroids, or surgery.

Categorizing the Subtype

The study used cross-sectional data in order to describe ERA-related uveitis by its prevalence and characteristics. The goal was to understand its role more precisely.
They tracked the course of the disease, including the rate of occurrence with uveitis, the patient’s symptoms, visual acuity, and complications. They also tracked the individual’s disease activity using the Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score 10, and their functional ability using the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire score. They searched for which treatments were used, and how effective they were. They also found which sociodemographic features were common across patients.
The slew of data provided by the NPRD was then analyzed for new characteristics and patterns. They found that 63% of patients acutely displayed uveitis, and the onset was more common in men, youngest patients, and those who are HLA-B27 positive.
They also found that the young patients were diagnosed with the eye condition at a mean age of 11 and a half years old. They found about half experienced the onset of uveitis within the first years post-diagnosis. They found that pharmaceutical treatments could lower the risk of its onset, with drugs including biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, corticosteroids, and synthetic options.

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