Intravenous immunoglobulin therapy leading to dramatic improvement in a patient with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis and severe pericarditis resistant to steroid pulse therapy.

Rheumatol Int. 2010 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Aizawa-Yashiro T, Oki E, Tsuruga K, Nakahata T, Ito E, Tanaka H.

Department of Pediatrics, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, 036-8562, Japan.

A 7-year-old Japanese boy with a 4-month history of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (s-JIA) experienced disease flare with spiking fever, exanthema and arthralgia. He then developed progressive dyspnea due to severe pericarditis, and proinflammatory hypercytokinemia was suspected. Methylprednisolone pulse therapy was ineffective and echocardiography showed massive pericardial effusion had persisted. Alternatively, subsequent intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy resulted in dramatic resolution of the pericardial effusion, and his general condition significantly improved within a few days. This case report may lend further support the use of IVIG for selected patients with s-JIA and severe pericarditis.

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