Introduction: The search for biomarkers in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a promising and rapidly expanding field of investigation. The biomarkers identified so far may help to dissect the clinical heterogeneity of the illness, measure the level of disease activity, predict clinical remission, relapse, response to medications, course over time, complications, and forestall disease flares. Areas covered: We provide a summary of the most recent advances in the development and application of biomarkers in JIA. We performed a PubMed search for significant articles combining predetermined keywords related to biomarkers in non-systemic and systemic JIA, chronic uveitis, and macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). The biomarkers available or under study are presented and discussed separately for non-systemic and systemic subtypes and for the two main disease complications, uveitis and MAS. Expert opinion: The incorporation of valid and reliable biomarkers in standard clinical care may help to design better patient-tailored treatment regimens and to improve the therapeutic strategies based on the treat-to-target approach. The establishment of biomarkers that predict the risk of disease flare may lead to define the optimal modalities for treatment discontinuation after the achievement of clinical remission.
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