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Association of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) with HLA class II still remains unresolved. Our study investigated whether presence of the HLA-DRB1 amino acid 70-74 rheumatoid epitope (RE) is a predictive factor of the disease course.
We analysed 74 consecutive patients with JIA diagnosed and classified according to ILAR criteria, aged 11.2 ± 4.2 (mean ± SD), 35 boys and 39 girls. The numbers of children having oligoarticular, polyarticular, and systemic form of JIA were 24, 40, and 10, respectively. HLA-DRB1 alleles carrying the QRRAA, QKRAA, and RRRAA motifs of RE were typed for using PCR with sequence-specific primers.
There were no significant differences in frequency of the RE, or its particular motifs, among the three forms of JIA.
We therefore conclude that simple positivity of the DRB1 rheumatoid epitope is not a likely predictive factor of the JIA course in Czech children.