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A practical approach to uveitis screening in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Abstract

Background Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis typically presents as a silent chronic anterior uveitis and can lead to blindness. Adherence to current screening guidelines is hampered by complex protocols which rely on the knowledge of specific JIA characteristics. The Multinational Interdisciplinary Working Group for Uveitis in Childhood identified the need to simplify screening to enable local eye care professionals (ECPs), who carry the main burden, to screen children with JIA appropriately and with confidence.

Methods A consensus meeting took place in January 2023 in Barcelona, Spain, with an expert panel of 10 paediatric rheumatologists and 5 ophthalmologists with expertise in paediatric uveitis. A summary of the current evidence for JIA screening was presented. A nominal group technique was used to reach consensus.

Results The need for a practical but safe approach that allows early uveitis detection was identified by the panel. Three screening recommendations were proposed and approved by the voting members. They represent a standardised approach to JIA screening taking into account the patient’s age at the onset of JIA to determine the screening interval until adulthood.

Conclusion By removing the need for the knowledge of JIA categories, antinuclear antibody positivity or treatment status, the recommendations can be more easily implemented by local ECP, where limited information is available. It would improve the standard of care on the local level significantly. The proposed protocol is less tailored to the individual than the ‘gold standard’ ones it references and does not aim to substitute those where they are being used with confidence.

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Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.

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