We are the combination of four hospitals: the General Hospital, the Children’s Hospital, the Women’s Hospital and the Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Hospital. We are part of the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus: a world-leading health park where healthcare plays a crucial role.
Below we will list the departments and units that form part of Vall d’Hebron Hospital and the main diseases that we treat. We will also make recommendations based on advice backed up by scientific evidence that has been shown to be effective in guaranteeing well-being and quality of life.
We will guide you from your first visit to the centre, allowing you to find all the departments and make the most of our facilities. Whatever the reason for your visit, we will explain how to get about the hospital.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a chronic disease characterised by persistent inflammation of the joints that begins before the age of 16.
There are various types of JIA which can be identified by the number of joints affected and the presence of symptoms such as fever and skin manifestations, amongst others. The diagnosis is made by observing the symptoms during the first 6 months of the disease.
The main symptoms are pain, swelling and increased heat in the joints, with stiffness and difficulty moving. Sometimes the beginning is slow, insidious and progressive. The child may be tired or irritable, if they are younger. Older children may notice stiffness when moving their joints when they get up in the morning. At other times, the beginning is acute and serious, with the presence of general symptoms such as general malaise, fever, blemishes on the skin and several swollen joints.
JIA is a relatively rare condition that affects 1 or 2 children in every 1,000.
JIA diagnosis is based on the presence of persistent arthritis and carefully excluding any other condition by using the clinical history, physical examination and blood tests.
JIA is considered where the condition begins before the age of 16, the symptoms last for more than 6 weeks and other conditions that may be responsible for arthritis have been discounted.
The treatment must be put in place early and each child must be considered individually, which means that the therapy will have different levels of intensity depending on the type, time and seriousness of the condition.
Its aim is to care for the child’s all-round physical and psychological development, to try and improve all aspects of their quality of life.
To ensure that there are no after-effects, or that these are minimised, there must be ongoing effort and close collaboration between the child and their parents or family and the various specialists. It is essential that the family understands this disease. The child will begin to learn about it according to their age.
When it comes to diagnosis, certain analytical tests are valuable, along with examinations of the joints and eye tests for a better definition of the type of JIA and identification of the patients at risk of developing specific complications, like chronic iridocyclitis.
The rheumatoid factor (RF) test detects this autoantibody which, if positive and found persistently in high concentrations, indicates a subtype of JIA.
Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) usually test positive in tests on patients with early onset oligoarticular JIA. The population of patients with JIA has a greater risk of developing chronic iridocyclitis and, therefore, eye tests using a slit lamp should be scheduled (every three months).
HLA-B27 is a cellular marker which tests positive in up to 80% of patients with arthritis associated with enthesitis. In contrast, it is only positive in 5%-8% of healthy people.
Other examinations are valuable, such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), or C-reactive protein (CRP), as these measure the degree of general inflammation. Nevertheless, diagnostic and treatment decisions tend to be based more on the clinical manifestations that appear rather than the analytical tests.
Depending on the treatment, patients may need periodic tests (such as haemograms, liver function tests, or urine tests) to check for treatment side effects and any pharmacological toxicity that may not show any symptoms. Joint inflammation is mainly assessed by clinical examination and, sometimes, using imaging studies, such as ultrasound. Periodic X-rays or magnetic resonance (MRI) scans can be helpful in assessing bone health and growth and in personalising the treatment.
Associació Espanyola de Febre Mediterrània Familiar i Síndromes Autoinflamatoris
Lliga Reumatològica Catalana
Urology and Paediatric Kidney Transplant
Paediatric Hospitalisation and Hospital Paediatrics Unit
Paediatric emergency care
Hereditary Angioedema Unit
Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology,
Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Hospital
Select the newsletter you want to receive:
By accepting these conditions, you are agreeing to the processing of your personal data for the provision of the services requested through this portal, and, if necessary, for any procedures required by the administrations or public bodies involved in this processing, and their subsequent inclusion in the aforementioned automated file. You may exercise your rights to access, rectification, cancellation or opposition by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, clearly stating the subject as "Exercising of Data Protection Rights".
Operated by: Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron - Institut Català de la Salut.
Purpose: Manage the user’s contact information.
Rights: To access, rectify, and delete personal information data, as well to the portability thereof and to limit and/or oppose their use.
Source: The interested party themselves.