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  • Invited speaker presentation
  • Open Access

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis classification

  • 1, 2
Pediatric Rheumatology201412 (Suppl 1) :I3

  • Published:


  • Public Health
  • Arthritis
  • Early Onset
  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
  • Heterogeneous Group

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is not a disease, but an exclusion diagnosis that encompasses all forms of arthritis that begin before the age of 16 years, persist for more than 6 weeks, and are of unknown origin. This heterogeneous group of chronic arthritides has been classified on clinical and laboratory grounds to try to identify homogeneous, mutually exclusives categories suitable for etiopathogenic studies. During the last years evidence has accumulated suggesting that while some JIA categories identify quite definite disease entities, others represent heterogeneous conditions and in particular that a homogeneous disease entity (ANA positive, early onset oligoarthritis) is included in several different JIA categories. These and other findings suggest the need to reconsider some aspects of the current International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) JIA classification and nomenclature.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics, University of Genoa, Italy
Pediatria II e Reumatologia, Istituto G Gaslini, Genoa, Italy


© Martini; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.