A new autosomal dominant disorder of pyogenic sterile arthritis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and acne: PAPA syndrome

Mayo Clin Proc. 1997 Jul;72(7):611-5. doi: 10.1016/S0025-6196(11)63565-9.


Objective: To describe a multigenerational family with transmission of an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by pyogenic arthritis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and severe cystic acne.

Material and methods: We present a detailed case report of a 39-year-old man with arthritic changes in several joints, pyoderma gangrenosum, and cystic acne. Several relatives from three generations of his family underwent clinical and genetic investigations. The findings in this kindred are reported.

Results: Ten affected family members in three generations manifested variable expression of a pauciarticular, nonaxial, destructive, corticosteroid-responsive arthritis that began in childhood; pyoderma gangrenosum; and severe cystic acne in adolescence and beyond. Other less commonly associated features included adult-onset insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, proteinuria, abscess formation at the site of parenteral injections, and cytopenias attributable to sulfonamide medications. Laboratory evaluation was nondiagnostic. Genetic studies excluded linkage to the major histocompatibility locus.

Conclusion: The acronym of PAPA syndrome (pyogenic sterile arthritis, pyoderma gangrenosum, and acne) is suggested for this newly recognized pleiotropic autosomal dominant disorder. The nature of the genetic alteration in PAPA syndrome is unknown.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Arthritis / genetics*
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics*
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Genes, Dominant
  • Humans
  • Leg Ulcer / genetics
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Pyoderma Gangrenosum / genetics*
  • Suppuration
  • Syndrome