The Presence of Antinuclear Antibodies (ANAs) in Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Arthritis Related to Infection: a Single Center Experience

Almira Ćosićkić, Damir Sabitović, Meliha Halilbašić, Amela Selimović, Sanimir Suljendić, Maida Skokić, Evlijana Zulić, Adin Alić, Denis Mršić, Azra Hadžić Kečalović


Objective - to determine the presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and arthritis related to infection (ARI).

Methods - Retrospective-prospective study at the Clinic for Children’s Diseases Tuzla, from January 2014 to January 2020.

Results - 81 children were included in the study: 26 boys and 16 girls with JIA (median age 9.9 years) and 22 boys and 17 girls with ARI (median age 9.6 years). The most common form of JIA was oligoarticular (64.2%), while reactive arthritis (ReA) was the most common form of ARI (64.1%). ANAs were positive in 7/42 (16.6%) children with JIA: 5/27 (18.5%) children with the oligoarticular and 2/10 (20%) children with polyarticular rheuma factor negatve form. Considering ARI, ANAs were positive in 12/39 (30.7%) children: 9 children with ReA (23.1%) and 3 children with postinfectious arthritis (7.6%). We did not find a significant difference in ANAs positivity between the examined groups of children (χ2=1.523; P=0.21). One child with JIA and 25.6% of children with ARI had a positive ANA profile; a statistically significant difference (P=0.002) was found.

Conclusion - ANAs tests have little diagnostic utility in clarifying the diagnosis of JIA, and should not be used as a screening tool if JIA is the diagnosis under consideration. The persistence of ANAs was not associated with the type of arthritis, juvenile or ARI.


Antinuclear Antibodies; ANA Profile; Arthritis Related to Infection; Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

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