University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust


We review a variety of rheumatic diseases and chronic pain complaints including: 

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)

This is a condition where one or more joints become swollen, red and painful. The inflammation is caused by an autoimmune reaction which results in excess fluid being produced within the joint cavity.

JIA is the term which described all the different types of arthritis which can affect children and adolescents. Once reviewed and examined a more detailed diagnosis can be made using the following groups.

Oligoarticular JIA

This is the most common type of JIA and affects four or fewer joints in the body. If only one joint is affected the term monoarticular JIA will be used - this fits under the oligoarticular JIA diagnosis. Typically both oligoarticular and monoarticular JIA develop in large joints such as knees, ankles or wrists.

Polyarticular JIA

With polyarticular JIA more than four joints are affected within the first six months of being diagnosed. Any joint in the body can develop symptoms. There are two forms of polyarticular arthritis defined by the presence or absence of rheumatoid factor (RF), a protein in the blood. RF negative is the most common form.

Systemic JIA

This type of arthritis begins with systemic symptoms such as fever, rashes, lethargy, and enlarged glands. It can be difficult to diagnose as it is often mistaken for an infection. This diagnosis accounts for around 10 percent of all cases of JIA.

Psoriatic JIA

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with psoriasis - a scaly red skin rash commonly affecting the knees and elbows. Any number of small or large joints can be affected, but characteristically it is most common in the joints nearest the fingertips. This diagnosis accounts for less than 10 percent of all cases of JIA.

Juvenile onset lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system produces antibodies which attack the body’s own tissues causing inflammation. Commonly the skin and joints are affected but Lupus can also involve organs such as kidneys.


Uveitis means there is an inflammation within the eye. Most children who develop uveitis have arthritis, particularly oligoarticular JIA.