Inflammatory arthritis in pediatric patients with morphea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Morphea or localized scleroderma is an inflammatory disorder resulting in fibrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Joint contractures, arthralgias, and functional compromise are recognized associations of pediatric morphea. The co-existence of inflammatory arthritis and morphea is not well-described in the literature. Objective: To investigate the relationship between pediatric morphea and inflammatory arthritis with regards to cutaneous, musculoskeletal, and laboratory findings and treatment regimens. Methods: A systematic retrospective chart review of 53 patients with pediatric morphea was performed and analyzed for morphea subtypes, arthritic joint involvement, serum autoantibodies, and therapeutic interventions. Results: Eleven out of 53 patients had polyarthritis that involved joints unrelated to the site of the cutaneous morphea. These patients were mostly girls with either the linear or generalized subtypes of morphea. Serum levels of antinuclear antibodies were more significantly elevated in patients with arthritis. All children were treated with methotrexate in addition to other systemic or topical immunosuppressive agents. Limitations: This was a small, single-center retrospective study. Conclusion: Pediatric morphea co-existed with inflammatory arthritis in 11 of 53 children. Further understanding and appreciation of this relationship may direct more intensive therapy and musculoskeletal screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-51.e2
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • connective tissue disease
  • localized scleroderma
  • morphea
  • pediatric dermatology
  • rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inflammatory arthritis in pediatric patients with morphea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this