Familial Mediterranean fever and acute rheumatic fever: a pathogenetic relationship?

Clin Rheumatol. 1999;18(6):446-9. doi: 10.1007/s100670050136.


The frequency of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) in patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) was documented and the effects of preceding streptococcal infections on the exacerbation of FMF were determined. In the first part of the study, 162 individuals with FMF were investigated for a history of ARF in a retrospective study. In the second part of the study, antistreptolysin-O (ASO) titres were measured in 130 individuals with FMF. Thirty-six patients had an arthritic attack (group A1), 55 patients had a typical FMF attack without arthritis (group A2) and 39 patients were in the attack-free interval (group B) during the investigation. Nine patients with FMF (5.5%) were considered to have ARF and three of them (1.85%) also had rheumatic heart disease. This prevalence of rheumatic heart disease in FMF is higher than that of the normal population (0.65%) reported in Turkey. Elevated ASO titres were found in 75%, 42% and 38% of the patients in groups A1, A2 and B, respectively. These percentages were found to be significantly higher in group A1 than in both groups A2 (p<0.01) and B (p<0.01). We concluded that patients with FMF might be more prone to the late complications of streptococcal infections.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Antistreptolysin / blood
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / blood
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / complications*
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / epidemiology
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rheumatic Fever / blood
  • Rheumatic Fever / epidemiology
  • Rheumatic Fever / etiology*
  • Rheumatic Fever / pathology
  • Turkey / epidemiology


  • Antistreptolysin