This study aimed to determine whether there is a temporal association between arthritis and uveitis activity among children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis (JIA‐U). Arthritis and uveitis data from JIA‐U patients aged more than or equal to 21 years were collected from July, 2013 to December, 2019 at a tertiary care center. Arthritis activity was assessed at each rheumatology visit, and the primary outcome was the presence of active uveitis at ophthalmologic exams within 45 days of the rheumatology visit.
Ninety eight patients were included in this study, out of which 82% were female, 69% were anti‐nuclear antibody positive, 60% were oligoarticular and 13% were enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA) subtypes. In total, 1229 rheumatology visits were recorded with a median of 13 visits per patient. There was an independent temporal association between uveitis and arthritis activity, odds ratio (OR) 2.47 [95% confidence interval 1.72, 3.54; p<0.01], adjusted for demographic and disease characteristics. Use of combination biologic and non‐biologic disease-modifying anti‐rheumatic drugs, female sex, HLA‐B27 positivity, ERA, and polyarticular (RF‐) subtypes were associated with decreased odds of active uveitis at any time point.
In conclusion, there is a significant temporal association between arthritis and uveitis disease activity in patients with JIA‐U. These novel results suggest that an arthritis flare should prompt an expedited referral to the ophthalmologist.