Adult-onset Still’s disease, the most internistic of the rheumatic diseases: current concepts and a report of six cases

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Roberto Boni
Pier G. Rabitti *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Pier G. Rabitti |


Adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD) is a rare systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown origin. It is characterized by spiking fever, evanescent rash, arthralgia/arthritis, and leukocytosis. The differential diagnosis includes a number of other conditions, and management is complicated by the lack of course predictors and the risks associated with complications and treatments. This report examines recent advances in our understanding of adult-onset Still’s disease (pathogenesis, diagnosis, complications, treatment). Current research in this field is focused on the significance of serum ferritin in AOSD, mechanisms underlying the hemophagocytic syndrome, and use of biologic therapies in patients who are refractory to conventional treatment. Six cases of AOSD diagnosed by our staff between 2002 and 2009 are also analyzed and compared with other cases reported in the literature. This analysis showed that Still’s rash and serum ferritin levels were not essential elements for diagnosis. In addition, the course of the disease showed little relation to the severity / characteristics of the presenting picture, but the evolution worsened with the age of the patient at diagnosis.

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