Neutrophils the key to systemic onset JIA

Dramatically-raised neutrophil levels in very early systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) may explain the disease process and provide a treatment window, a Dutch study suggests.

Neutrophil counts were markedly elevated in 40 of 50 patients on hospital admission, but rapidly returned to normal levels on treatment with the recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist, anakinra, the authors showed.

“Strikingly, in line with the rapid clinical improvement, neutrophil counts normalised within one day after initiating [anakinra] therapy,”