Symptoms of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
JRA commonly affects the knees and joints in the hands and feet. One of the earliest signs of JRA may be limping in the morning because of an affected knee.
Besides joint symptoms, children with systemic JRA have a high fever and light pink rash. The rash and fever may appear and disappear very quickly. Systemic JRA also may cause the lymph nodes located in the neck and other parts of the body to swell.
In some cases (less than half), internal organs, including the heart and the lungs (very rarely), may be involved.
Eye inflammation is a potentially severe complication that sometimes occurs in children with pauciarticular JRA. Eye disease such as iritis and uveitis often are not present until some time after a child first develops JRA.
Typically, there are periods when the symptoms of JRA are better or disappear (remissions) and times when symptoms are worse (flares). JRA is different in each child—some may have just one or two flares and never have symptoms again, which others experience many flares of even have symptoms that never go away.