Systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is also known as still disease and its initial symptoms include high fever, skin rash that has no itching signs. You can easily determine if it is really systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis by checking whether the fever in some parts of the day and coming back again. When the fever is high, the child may be stubborn and do not want to be touched but once the signs go away, the child becomes normal again. These symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can come and go never to be seen again but at the same time the disease is still progressing in the body. Other than affecting the child’s joints, systemic juvenile arthritis also affects the internal organs of the child including the heart, lymph nodes, liver and spleen.
Once taken for rheumatoid factor test, children with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis show negative results for RA and antinuclear antibody. The real cause of this disease is not known; however there are studies that show that it might be caused by infection while another still suggest that systemic juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The fact that its cause is not clear makes it hard to prevent it from occurring. This type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis defers from other types of juvenile arthritis in that is affects both boys and girls equally unlike the others that affect girls more than boys. Small and big joints are affected in this type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and idiopathic rheumatoid arthritis is one and the same thing only that it was initially known as systemic-onset juvenile arthritis (JRA) but it came to be changed and was called juvenile idiopathic rheumatoid arthritis (JIA). It is called systemic because its symptoms are wide and starts with the whole body such as fever and skin rush, swelling of lymph nodes among others. Other than the high fevers, the systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis also causes the patient to have very high body temperatures (around 39 C) as well as feel fatigue. This fever occurs at the same time every day and but once it goes, the patient is in normal moods; it might be present for many months and it can also disappear but this does not mean that the arthritis is not progressing in the body.
Other possible symptoms of systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis include nausea, spleen enlargement, lymph gland swelling, sore throat and liver infection. When the liver is affected, there is usually accumulation of fluid around it and this is known as pleural effusion. If this fluid accumulation occurs around the heart, it is referred to as pericardial effusion. These are just the initial signs of the disease which later lead to joint pain and inflammation. Although the infection is not initially diagnosed, the rise in white blood cells is clear evidence that the patient has a very serious infection that should be taken treated. The best test to identify systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis will be sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein as the other blood tests such as rheumatoid factor shows negative.