Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a term used to describe the condition of chronic synovitis in children of which there are several distinct subgroups. Chronic synovitis in children was first described well in the English literature in 1897 by George Frederick Still, an English pediatrician and pathologist, who reported on 23 children who had chronic arthritis and came to his attention while he was training at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street. Still postulated that several separate conditions were responsible for chronic arthritis in children. Little subsequent work in this area was pursued until the late 1940s. Most modern observers have come to agree with Still that chronic arthritis in children encompasses several distinct disease subgroups(Table 1). The relationship of JRA to adult rheumatoid arthritis was uncertain for many years. Now it seems clear that the classic adult-type rheumatoid arthritis does occur in children but is quite...

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