Juvenile idiopathic arthritis in Harlequin ichthyosis, a rare combination or the clinical spectrum of the disease? Report of a child treated with etanercept and review of the literature

Background: Harlequin ichthyosis (HI) is the most severe phenotype of autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis. Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) represents a heterogenous group of disorders all sharing the clinical manifestation of chronic arthritis. Association of HI and chronic arthritis has been reported in few cases.

Case presentation: We report the case of a child with HI who developed a severe form of chronic polyarthritis during the first years of life, treated with repeated multiple joint injections, methotrexate and etanercept with good response and without any adverse events.

Conclusion: The reported case and the literature review highlighted the presence of a peculiar severe seronegative polyarthritis with early onset in a series of patients with HI, suggesting that polyarthritis may be a specific manifestation of HI, rather than a rare combination of two separate conditions.

Keywords: Etanercept; Harlequin ichthyosis; Intra-articular corticosteroids injection; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis.