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How is JIA diagnosed?

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To make a diagnosis your doctor will ask questions and examine you, and this will help to rule out other types of illness that can cause joint pain.

What tests are there for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)?

  • Blood tests are often used to make a diagnosis by looking for things such as inflammation and antibodies.
  • X-rays of the affected joints are usually needed to allow the doctor to look at any joint damage that you may have.
  • Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are other ways to look at your joints.
  • Aspiration of a joint is where the fluid from a swollen joint is removed to be tested in a lab, to check for possible infection.
  • Other tests such as a chest x-ray or a heart scan (called an echocardiogram) look for inflammation of the covering of the heart (pericarditis), which can occur in the systemic-onset type of JIA.
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