Current Environment:

Pain in Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis | Overview


Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is the most common cause of non-infectious joint inflammation in children.  In this study, we show that JIA is associated with widespread sensitivity to painful mechanical and thermal stimuli, even in the absence of pain reports, or markers of disease activity. Localized joint-associated inflammation in JIA patients may produce generalized changes in pain sensitivity.

Pain in Children

Children with JIA have altered sensitivity

Who was eligible to participate?

  • Children and adolescents ages 7/17 years with JIA
  • Absence of cognitive impairment or known developmental disability
  • No known or suspected neurological disorder

What did the study involve?

60 children were studied on the day of their clinic visit at Boston Children’s Hospital.  We asked children to complete a series of questionnaires and to take part in skin sensation testing (QST).

Questionnaires asked about general health, school attitudes, how often they feel pain and how it sometimes affects them.

Skin sensation testing (QST) involved measuring responses to touch, pressure and temperature.  We wanted to look at how sensitive the children were to each type of sensation.

Collaborating Research Groups

The study was a collaboration between the Department of Anesthesiology, Preoperative & Pain Medicine, and Program in Rheumatology at Boston Children’s Hospital, with our European colleagues at the Department of Pediatric Neurology, Psychosomatic Medicine & Pain Therapy, Center for Child & Adolescent Medicine Olgahostpial, Stuttgart, Germany, and German Pediatric Pain Center, Children’s and Adolescents’ Hospital, Dattln, Germany.

Related Publications

Cornelissen, L., Donado, C., Kim, J., Chiel, L., Zurakowski, D., Logan, D.E, Meier, P., Sethna, N.F., Blankenberg, M., Zernikow, B., Sundel, R.P. & Berde, C.B. (2014). Pain hypersensitivity in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a quantitative sensory testing study. Pediatr Rheumatol 12(39), doi 10.1186/1546-0096-12-39