Research & Registry

Limit JIA

Improving Outcomes in Limited Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (LIMIT-JIA)
Improving Outcomes in Limited Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (LIMIT-JIA)
“When my son was diagnosed with limited JIA 16 years ago, we did not have many treatment options and were not sure how the treatments that did exist would affect his life.  His disease extended to several joints and eye disease over the years.  If we had been approached with a safe, aggressive treatment plan at diagnosis, I only wonder how different his JIA journey would have been.”
Laura C.

Why This Is Important

About half of the kids diagnosed with limited JIA (4 joints or less affected at diagnosis) will extend to more than 5 joints and/or eye disease over the course of their childhood.  When their disease progresses, they sometimes end up with disease that is very hard to treat with more severe symptoms.  What if we could do something at diagnosis to prevent their disease from getting worse?  With this study, we plan to test how using a safe biologic treatment soon after diagnosis affects a child’s JIA journey.  

This is the first study to test whether early treatment with a biologic can prevent severe disease extension.  What we learn from this study can help doctors and families make better decisions about early treatment in limited JIA.

Project Description/Overview

LIMIT-JIA is a project studying patients with limited juvenile idiopathic arthritis (children with 4 or less joints affected at diagnosis). This study will test whether a 6-month course of a biologic medication used in the treatment of JIA (abatacept) can prevent the disease outcomes of extension to more joints, eye inflammation and/or the need for additional treatment as compared to usual care.  In addition, this study will also look at family perspective of enrolling in a research study at diagnosis and what barriers we might address.  


305 children with limited JIA within 6 months of diagnosis will be randomized to either usual care with abatacept or usual care without abatacept. Children will be enrolled from 30 CARRA centers and will be concomitantly enrolled into the CARRA Registry.

Who is Involved?

This study is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
Bristol-Meyers Squibb

Principal Investigator: Laura Schanberg, MD (Duke Clinical Research Institute and Duke University)


  • Timothy Beukelman, MD MSCE (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
  • Marc Natter, MD (Boston Children’s Hospital)
  • Mary Beth Son, MD (Boston Children’s Hospital)
  • Emily von Scheven (University of California, San Francisco)

Stakeholder Panel Leaders:

  • Vincent del Gaizo
  • Melanie Kohlheim
  • Marcela Riano


  • Sarah Ringold, MD MS (Seattle Children’s)