How Common is Clinically Inactive Disease in a Prospective Cohort of Patients with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis? The Importance of Definition.

Stephanie Shoop-Worrall, Suzanne Verstappen, Eileen Baildam, Alice Chieng, Joyce Davidson, Helen Foster, Yiannis Ioannou, Flora Mcerlane, Lucy R. Wedderburn, Wendy Thomson, Kimme Hyrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Many criteria for clinically inactive disease (CID) and minimal disease activity (MDA) have been proposed for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). It is not known to what degree each of these criteria overlap within a single patient cohort. This study aimed to compare the frequency of MDA and CID across different criteria in a cohort of children with JIA at one year following presentation.

Methods: The Childhood Arthritis Prospective Study recruits children at initial presentation to paediatric or adolescent rheumatology in seven UK centres. Children recruited between October 2001 and December 2013 were included. The proportions of children with CID and MDA at one year were calculated using four investigator-defined and eight published composite criteria. Missing data were accounted for using multiple imputation under different assumptions.

Results: In a cohort of 1415 children and adolescents, 67% patients had no active joints at one year. Between 48% and 61% achieved MDA and between 25% and 38% achieved CID using published criteria. Overlap between criteria varied. Of 922 patients in MDA by either the original composite criteria, Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (JADAS) or clinical JADAS cut-offs, 68% were classified as in MDA by all 3 criteria. Similarly, 44% of 633 children with CID defined by either Wallace criteria or the JADAS cut-off were in CID according to both criteria.

Conclusion: In a large JIA prospective inception cohort, a majority of patients have evidence of persistent disease activity after one year. Published criteria to capture MDA and CID do not always identify the same groups of patients. This has significant implications when defining and applying treat-to-target strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the rheumatic diseases
Early online date7 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
  • Inactive disease
  • Minimal disease activity
  • Paediatric rheumatology
  • Epidemiology


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