This study of children with chronic arthritis confirms that patients at greatest risk for chronic iridocyclitis have a young age of onset and positive antinuclear antibodies (ANA). Children who are ANA negative have a low risk of iridocyclitis. When it occurs it is at a significantly older age. No child developing juvenile chronic arthritis over 9, even with positive ANA, had chronic iritis. There was remarkable variation in ANA titres; these correlated with erythrocyte sedimentation rate, active arthritis, and iridocyclitis. Maximum ANA titres were often seen very early in the disease but at this time were usually not associated with a poor prognosis. Histocompatibility antigens A2 and DRw8 were significantly increased, suggesting primary associations in pauciarticular arthritis with ANA. HLA-DR5 was associated with mild forms of arthritis and with absence of, or only mild, iritis. HLA-B15/w62 was associated with severe forms of eye involvement.
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