No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop the disease. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition, which means the combination of genes a child receives from family members may cause the onset of arthritis when triggered by other factors.
Oligoarthritis and polyarthritis are both more common in girls, while boys and girls are equally vulnerable to systemic arthritis. Boys are more commonly diagnosed with enthesitis-related arthritis. Like everything else, there are exceptions to every rule, so work with your child’s doctor to get a proper and timely diagnosis.
No single blood test confirms juvenile arthritis. In fact, blood testing will reveal relatively little in terms of your child’s diagnosis. In children, the key to diagnosis is a careful physical exam, along with taking a medical history.
Along with the physical exam itself, your child’s doctors will take a number of other diagnostic steps – such as laboratory work and x-rays and other imaging tests - in part to rule out other potential causes of symptoms. Blood work, for example, can rule out the possibility of an underlying infection.