Adult-onset Still's disease: a report of 28 cases and review of the literature

Mod Rheumatol. 2008;18(5):480-5. doi: 10.1007/s10165-008-0104-6. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is a rare systemic inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology. It is characterized by fever, skin rash, polyarthralgias or polyarthritis, sore throat, hepatosplenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, leukocytosis, liver enzyme elevation, and high serum level of ferritin. Several kinds of skin lesions have been reported in this condition. The aim of this study was to assess the clinical and laboratory aspects of 28 patients with AOSD in central Iran. According to the diagnostic criteria of AOSD, we identified 28 patients between 2002 and 2007. We intended to describe the clinical characteristics, treatment, and outcome of our patients with AOSD. Of 28 patients with AOSD, 21 (75%) were female, 7 (25%) were male. Fever (100%), sore throat (92%), Arthralgia (92%), dermatographism (92%), typical rash (85%) and arthritis (60%) were the most common findings. The mean values of laboratory findings were as follows; C-reactive protein (CRP) level of 14.4 mg/dl, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) of 91.5 mm/h, leukocyte count of 15744.4/microl. Abnormal levels of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase were observed in 25 (89%) patients. Twenty patients (71%) had high ferritin values (>500 ng/ml). The clinical characteristics were similar to previous series. A febrile polyarthritis was the most frequent presentation form. Dermatographism was frequently encountered phenomenon in our patients with AOSD. Being that dermatographism is a simple inducible skin reaction, along with its sensitivity in active disease, we suggest more controlled studies to validate accuracy and positive predictive value of it in convenient clinical setting in the diagnosis of AOSD and to consider including it in diagnostic criteria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Still's Disease, Adult-Onset / complications
  • Still's Disease, Adult-Onset / diagnosis*
  • Still's Disease, Adult-Onset / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult