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11-07-2018 | Juvenile idiopathic arthritis | Review | Article

Methotrexate in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: advice and recommendations from the MARAJIA expert consensus meeting

Pediatric Rheumatology

Authors: Giovanna Ferrara, Greta Mastrangelo, Patrizia Barone, Francesco La Torre, Silvana Martino, Giovanni Pappagallo, Angelo Ravelli, Andrea Taddio, Francesco Zulian, Rolando Cimaz, On behalf of the Rheumatology Italian Study Group

Publisher: BioMed Central



Conventional pharmacological therapies for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) consist of non-biological, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, among which methotrexate (MTX) is the most commonly prescribed. However, there is a lack of consensus-based clinical and therapeutic recommendations for the use of MTX in the management of patients with JIA. Therefore, the Methotrexate Advice and RecommendAtions on Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (MARAJIA) Expert Meeting was convened to develop evidence-based recommendations for the use of MTX in the treatment of JIA.


The preliminary executive committee identified a total of 9 key clinical issues according to the population, intervention, comparator, outcome (PICO) approach, and performed an evidence-based, systematic, literature review. During the subsequent Expert Meeting, the relevant evidence was assessed and graded, and 10 recommendations were made.


Recommendations relating to the efficacy, optimal dosing and route of administration and duration of treatment with MTX in JIA, and to the issue of folic acid supplementation to prevent MTX side effects, use of MTX in the treatment of chronic JIA-associated uveitis, combination treatment with biologic agents, and the use of vaccinations in patients with JIA were developed. The selected topics were considered to represent clinically important issues facing clinicians caring for patients with JIA. Evidence was insufficient to formulate recommendations for the use of biomarkers predictive of treatment response.


These consensus recommendations provide balanced and evidence-based recommendations designed to have broad value for physicians and healthcare clinicians involved in the clinical management of patients with JIA.

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