Still's disease

October 2017


Definition


Still's disease is a rare disease, which mainly affects young children, but is also present in adults. This is a generalized form of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It is a chronic inflammatory disease whose origin remains unknown. It most commonly affects women and usually occurs early before the age of 5. This pathology evolves in spurts of several weeks or months interspersed with periods without any symptoms.

Symptoms


The main symptoms of chronic juvenile arthritis are painful and inflamed joints of increased volume, primarily affecting the large joints such as the knees or the extremities, the hands and feet.
Still's disease is also associated with:
  • a high fever;
  • a rash;
  • the presence of enlarged lymph nodes, and an increased spleen that sometimes becomes palpable;
  • complications in the long term are due to the infection of several structures such as the pericardium around the heart, the pleura, the lung envelope, or the peritoneum covering the abdominal organs.

Diagnosis


Clinical signs and the age of onset can point towards a diagnosis. Additional tests are then often performed to confirm it. A blood test reveals an inflammatory syndrome with a marker called the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the neutrophil subset rate of white blood cells, which is highly increased. The measurement of serum ferritin, a carrier of iron in the blood, is quite evocative.

Treatment


There is as of yet no predefined treatment for Still's disease. Current treatment is based on anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly aspirin and corticosteroids. Other treatments such as methotrexate, used for rheumatoid arthritis, are sometimes prescribed.
Original article published by Jeff. Translated by Jeff. Latest update on July 1, 2013 at 01:19 PM by Jeff.
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