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Juvenile idiopathic polyarticular arthritis and IgA deficiency in the 22q11 deletion syndrome.

Five patients with the 22q11 deletion syndrome (velocardiofacial syndrome) developed chronic inflammatory polyarticular arthritis. These new cases add to 8 previously reported and confirm the association. The arthritis in all cases was moderate to severe, but at least partially responsive to methotrexate and/or corticosteroids, and was clinically indistinguishable from juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Analysis of the total 13 patients indicates that 2 are rheumatoid factor positive, 6 are antinuclear antibody positive, 5 have subtle T cell deficiencies, and 6 have hypergammaglobulinemia. Of particular interest is the occurrence of IgA deficiency in 4 patients, including 2 from our own series. Although IgA deficiency is seen in both JIA (2-4%) and 22q11 deletion syndrome (2-4%), the prevalence of low IgA in this series (31%) is much greater than expected. This phenomenon and the true association of inflammatory arthritis and a chromosome deletion disorder provides further evidence of important genetic factors in the pathogenesis of JIA.

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