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Adult Onset Still's Disease

Adult Onset Still's Disease Definition

Still's disease was first discovered as a type of juvenile idiopathic arthritis that is common among children but is now also discovered to have a few cases in adults. The adult type is called the adult onset Still's disease (or AOSD). AOSD was first described by an English doctor in 1971. The physician's name was Bywaters who is also famous for his work on the crush syndrome. There are varying theories as to the cause of Still's disease. There is a suggestion that it originated from a microbacterial infection. To this day, the cause of the illness remains unknown. It is more securely established that the disorder's pathogenesis is autoimmune.

Adult Onset Still's Disease Diagnosis

Since the disorder is presented in several ways, diagnosis can be very difficult. It often requires a laborious procedure which consists of eliminating other diseases. The clinical features confirm the diagnosis with the combination of some other common tests. Arthritis that persists for up to six weeks is the most frequent symptom. Also, there is often a rash and the fevers spike extremely. Blood tests often indicate the elevation of white blood cells (a manifestation of acute inflammation). Anemia (or the low count of red blood cells) could also be diagnosed. Generally, these elevations on blood tests are indicators of severe inflammation. Other inflammation indicators include elevation of the levels of CRP or c-reactive protein and ferritin but classic tests for blood often indicate negative results for systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. The new marker of AOSD is glycosylated ferritin. When this marker goes below 50%, this often points to AOSD. All the symptoms of the illness (even the high fevers) could last for a few months. The more long-term condition is that of the arthritis.

Adult Onset Still's Disease Symptoms and Signs

The most common symptoms of AOSD are the following: waves of extreme fevers which could rise up to 40 degrees centigrade (which is about 104 in farenheit). The fever can be accompanied by fatigue; a skin rash that may manifest as salmon-colored and does not itch; a pain throughout the body which resembles the common influenza; muscle pains; and severe paints of the joints. Complications of the disease include swollen lymph glands; spleen and liver enlargement; pericarditis or the heart's inflammation (in some cases only); pleuritis and pericardial or pleural effusion. All the symptoms of the illness (even the high fevers) could last for a few months. The more long-term condition is that of the arthritis. The arthritic symptoms are often overlooked and that is where the problem ensues.

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