Arthritis in children represents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. The diagnostic spectrum is broad and a very precise indication for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, especially in small children, is important. In addition to acute arthritides – viral arthritis, reactive arthritis,
Lyme arthritis and septic arthritis – secondary chronic arthritis related to an underlying
disease as well as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common chronic inflammatory systemic
disease in children, need to be considered. This overview is a guide to the diagnosis of arthritis in childhood and to evidence-based therapy of JIA in particular. This consists of a combination of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic and intraarticular corticosteroids, traditional DMARDs such as sulfasalazine, methotrexate and leflunomide, the TNF inhibitors etanercept, adalimumab and, with restrictions, infliximab, other biopharmaceuticals such as anakinra, canakinumab and rilonacept, and tocilizumab and finally, abatacept.