ITEMS IN AFP WITH MESH TERM:
ABSTRACT: Serum rheumatologic tests are generally most useful for confirming a clinically suspected diagnosis. Testing for rheumatoid factor is appropriate when rheumatoid arthritis, SjÃ¶gren's syndrome or cryoglobulinemia is suspected. Antinuclear antibody testing is highly sensitive for systemic lupus erythematosus and drug-induced lupus. Anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies correlate with lupus nephritis; the titer often corresponds with disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Testing for anti-Ro (anti-SS-A) or anti-La (anti-SS-B) may help confirm the diagnosis of SjÃ¶gren's syndrome or systemic lupus erythematosus; these antibodies are associated with the extraglandular manifestations of SjÃ¶gren's syndrome. Cytoplasmic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody testing is highly sensitive and specific for Wegener's granulomatosis. Human leukocyte antigen-B27 is frequently present in ankylosing spondylitis and Reiter's syndrome, but the background presence of this antibody in white populations limits the value of testing. An elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a diagnostic criterion for polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis; however, specificity is quite low. ESR values tend to correlate with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis and may be useful for monitoring therapeutic response.
ABSTRACT: Primary care physicians should have a working knowledge of rheumatic diseases of childhood that manifest primarily as musculoskeletal pain. Children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can present with painless joint inflammation and may have normal results on rheumatologic tests. Significant morbidity may result from associated painless uveitis, and children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis should be screened by an ophthalmologist. The spondyloarthropathies (including juvenile ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis) often cause enthesitis, and patients typically have positive results on a human leukocyte antigen B27 test and negative results on an antinuclear antibody test. Patients with acute rheumatic fever present with migratory arthritis two to three weeks after having untreated group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis. Henoch-Schbnlein purpura may manifest as arthritis before the classic purpuric rash appears. Systemic lupus erythematosus is rare in childhood but may cause significant morbidity and mortality if not treated early. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy may be useful early interventions if a rheumatic illness is suspected. Family physicians should refer children when the diagnosis is in question or subspecialty treatment is required. Part I of this series discusses an approach to diagnosis with judicious use of laboratory and radiologic testing.