Adult onset Still's disease: a study of 14 cases

Clin Rheumatol. 2008 Jan;27(1):35-9. doi: 10.1007/s10067-007-0648-4. Epub 2007 Aug 15.


We studied the clinical profile, laboratory parameters, disease course, and outcomes of patients with adult onset Still's disease (AOSD). A retrospective analysis of adult patients with Still's disease diagnosed from 2000 to 2004 was carried out. Their clinical features and laboratory findings at presentation, disease course, and outcomes were analyzed. Data of 14 patients with Still's disease were analyzed. The age at disease onset ranged from 16 to 59 years with a mean of 29.85, the male to female ratio being 9:5. The mean duration of illness from onset of symptoms to presentation was 14.5 months (range). The most common clinical manifestations were fever (n = 14), articular symptoms (n = 14), rash (n = 8), weight loss (n = 12), and sore throat (n = 5). Elevated ESR was present in all patients with a mean of 98.3 mm at 1 h. Hepatic enzymes were elevated in seven patients at disease onset. The mean duration of follow up was 19.14 months (range). Three patients progressed to chronic arthropathy. Cyclosporine led to dramatic recovery in five patients. Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) was present in two patients, one after sulfasalazine therapy. One patient with MAS died. Still's disease, although uncommon, has characteristic constellation of clinical and laboratory features and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of fever of unknown origin. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and methotrexate may not be always effective, and cyclosporine is an effective drug in resistant cases. Sulfasalazine should be avoided in cases of AOSD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Contraindications
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exanthema / etiology
  • Exanthema / pathology
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Fever / pathology
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / diagnosis
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / etiology
  • Joint Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Still's Disease, Adult-Onset / complications
  • Still's Disease, Adult-Onset / drug therapy
  • Still's Disease, Adult-Onset / pathology*
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate