There are many important paediatric rheumatological conditions. Some closely mirror adult disease patterns, whereas others have a very different disease course and management approach. Early diagnosis and appropriate specialist referral are critical to favourable outcomes in children with these diseases.
- An awareness of the signs and symptoms of the rarer rheumatological conditions of childhood is important.
- Early diagnosis and specific therapy have been shown to improve outcomes of children with these conditions.
- Symptoms are often nonspecific, especially in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, and diagnosis depends on careful history taking and examination.
- Kawasaki disease should be considered in children with fever persisting for more than five days or in those displaying the typical clinical characteristics.
- Patients with symptoms or signs suggestive of these rheumatological conditions should be referred for assessment by a paediatric rheumatologist or paediatrician.