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      Final Height, Armspan, Subischial Leg Length and Body Proportions in Juvenile Chronic Arthritis

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          Objective: Assessment of growth disturbances in adults with a history of juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA). Material and Methods: Sixty-five subjects, 52 premenopausal females and 13 males with a mean age (range) of 32.2 years (22.3–49.4) participated. Mean age at disease onset was 5.7 years (0.8–15.8) and mean disease duration was 12.4 years (0.4–32). The follow-up time ranged from 18.7 to 46.9 years with a mean of 26.4 years. For each participant standard deviation scores (z-scores) for final height, delta-height (the difference between observed and expected height), armspan, subischial leg length and sitting height ratio, were calculated. Results: The study group as a whole did not exhibit linear growth impairment. The categorical distribution of heights differed significantly from a expected distribution in a healthy population (p < 0.001). A height z-score < –2 SD was present in 10.7% of the study group, of whom all had polyarticular course of JCA. Polyarticular and systemic course of JCA (versus pauciarticular) (p = 0.022), systemic steroid treatment (p = 0.006) and Steinbrocker functional class II–IV (vs. I) in 1979 (p = 0.043) were variables associated with reduced delta-height. In linear regression analyses, disease severity defining variables were statistically significant predictors of reduced final height and armspan. 27% of the study subjects had significantly reduced arm span (p < 0.001). Subischial leg length and body proportions (sitting height ratio) were normal. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that functionally impaired polyarticular and systemic JCA patients treated with systemic steroids may be at an increased risk of developing reduced final height and armspan. Disease control achieved by an aggressive therapeutic approach, if possible with a minimal use of systemic steroids, may reduce growth impairment in JCA.

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          Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in patients with connective tissue diseases: the role of hospital experience in diagnosis and mortality.

          Pneumonia due to Pneumocystis carinii has been increasingly reported in patients with connective tissue diseases, but the frequency of this complication is not known. We sought to determine the frequency of P carinii pneumonia (PCP) in patients with connective tissue diseases, and to determine the role that a hospital's acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related experience may have in the diagnosis of PCP in these patients. We used a state hospitalization registry to identify all patients with PCP and either rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Wegener's granulomatosis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, polyarteritis nodosa, or scleroderma who had an emergent or urgent hospitalization in California from 1983 to 1994. We compared patient and hospital characteristics between these patients and patients with connective tissue diseases hospitalized with other types of pneumonia. Two hundred twenty-three patients with connective tissue diseases were diagnosed with PCP in the 12-year study period. The frequency of PCP ranged from 89 cases/10,000 hospitalizations/year in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis to 2 cases/10,000 hospitalizations/year in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Compared with 5,457 patients with connective tissue diseases and pneumonia due to other organisms, patients with PCP were more likely to be younger, to be male, to have private medical insurance, and to have systemic lupus erythematosus, Wegener's granulomatosis, inflammatory myopathy, or polyarteritis nodosa rather than rheumatoid arthritis, and were less likely to be African American. Hospital size, teaching status, urban/rural location, proportion of admissions due to AIDS or PCP, and proportion of patients with pneumonia undergoing bronchoscopy were each associated with the likelihood of diagnosis of PCP in univariate analyses, but only the number of patients with PCP being treated at a hospital (odds ratio [OR] 1.03 for each additional 10 cases/year, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.01-1.05) was associated with the likelihood of diagnosis of PCP in multivariate analyses. Patients were also somewhat more likely to be diagnosed with PCP if there had previously been a case of PCP in a patient with a connective tissue disease at the same hospital (OR 135, 95% CI 0.98-1.85). In-hospital mortality was 45.7%, and was unrelated to hospital characteristics. PCP is an uncommon, but often fatal, occurrence in patients with connective tissue disease. A hospital's prior experience with patients with PCP is associated with the likelihood that this condition is diagnosed in patients with connective tissue diseases who present with pneumonia, suggesting that diagnostic suspicion is an important factor in the correct identification of affected patients.
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            Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: a general review and report of 100 patients observed for 15 years.


              Author and article information

              Horm Res Paediatr
              Hormone Research in Paediatrics
              S. Karger AG
              August 1999
              03 February 2000
              : 52
              : 2
              : 80-85
              aUniversity Clinic of Pediatrics II, and bUniversity Clinic of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
              23439 Horm Res 1999;52:80–85
              © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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              Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 23, Pages: 6
              Original Paper


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