Oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (oligoJIA), the most common chronic inflammatory arthritis of childhood, usually involves the knees and ankles. Severe oligoJIA monoarthritis presenting in a joint other than knees and ankles, is rare.
We report four children who presented with severe isolated arthritis of the hip, wrist or elbow and were diagnosed with oligoJIA. All four were girls with a median age of 11.5 years. Those with hip arthritis also met the classification criteria for juvenile-onset spondylarthopathy. Median duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis was 9.5 months. Three children had already cartilage loss or erosive disease at diagnosis.
Children diagnosed with oligoJIA that present with monoarthritis of the hip, wrist and elbow can have aggressive disease. Girls with positive HLA-B27 presenting with isolated hip arthritis could meet the classification criteria for both oligoJIA and juvenile-onset SpA. Early referral to specialized care may improve their diagnosis, treatment and outcome.