• Differential diagnosis of arthritis in children
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Differential diagnosis of arthritis in children

Modern pediatrics. Ukraine. 2019.5(101):112-122; doi 10.15574/SP.2019.101.112
Ya.E. Boyko
Municipal Non-profit Enterprise of the Lviv Regional Council “Western-Ukrainian Specialized Children’s Medical Centre”, Lviv, Ukraine Danylo Halytskyy Lviv National Medical University, Lviv, Ukraine

For citation: Boyko YaE. (2019). Differential diagnosis of arthritis in children. Modern Pediatrics.Ukraine. 5(101): 112-122. doi 10.15574/SP.2019.101.112
Article received: Apr 11, 2019. Accepted for publication: Sep 05, 2019.

Arthritis in children develops not only in patients with rheumatic diseases. Many somatic disorders make their debut with arthritis or arthralgia as a non-speсific manifestation of the disease. Arthritis can be a manifestation of some rare genetic diseases. The child is not yet able to express his or her complaints which makes the diagnosing process more complicated. The key to correct diagnosis is clinical examination. This article describes basic principles of clinical examination and diagnosis of arthritis in children as well as diseases that cause them in most cases, such as rheumatic, oncological, genetic, and metabolic. Differential diagnosis is a way to rationally analyze the diseases, which manifest themselves with arthritis. The course of the disease is to be analyzed the following way: differential diagnosis of diseases with persisting arthritis; differential diagnosis of diseases, which manifest themselves with arthritis and are associated with different manifestations in organs and systems; non0inflammatory arthritis or joint pain. Joint inflammation, which lasts for over 6 weeks, is considered to be persistent or cronic arthritis. It may be caused by different diseases associated with infection, neoplastic processes, inflammatory diseases or sarcoidosis. Oncological and septic arthritis are so called red flag diseases, which need to be treated immediately. The most common cause of inflammatory arthritis in children is juvenile idiopatic arthritis. Arthritis of unknown origin in children under the age of 18 that lasts for over 6 weeks is a reason for diagnosing juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The diseases which manifest themselves with arthritis and are associated with manifestation in different organs and systems are systemic juvenile idiopatihc arthritis, systemic autoimmune diseases and autoinflammatory diseases. 10–20% of children have complaints about cronic or reoccurring non0inflammatory muscle and bone pain. It is most commonly caused by joint hypermobility as a consequence of excessive movement range and is often observed in healthy children. The term joint hypermobility syndrome is used when joint hypermobility occurs and is accompanied by muscle and joint pain that have no other cause. Growing pains are observed in 6% to 49.4% of children in the age of 4 to 14 years. Timely diagnosis of disease caused by arthritis, makes it possible to assign the correct treatment.
No conflict of interest was declared by the author.
Key words: arthritis, differential diagnosis, children, diseases, treatment.


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