Adult Still's disease
Adult Still's disease
Adult Still's disease is a rare inflammatory condition that may lead to chronic arthritis and other complications. A separate condition, formerly known as Still's disease, is now commonly referred to as systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) or juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
There's no cure for adult Still's disease, but treatment may offer symptom relief for adult Still's disease and help prevent complications.
Most people with adult Still's disease experience a combination of the following signs and symptoms:
Other signs and symptoms may include:
Having any of these signs or symptoms doesn't necessarily mean that you have adult Still's disease. The signs and symptoms of this disorder may mimic those of other conditions, including infectious mononucleosis, a type of cancer called lymphoma or other rheumatic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
When to see a doctor
Although it's not certain what causes adult Still's disease, the condition may be triggered by a viral or bacterial infection.
Age is the main risk factor for adult Still's disease, with incidence in adults peaking twice: once from 15 to 25 years and again from 36 to 46 years. Males and females are equally at risk of acquiring the disorder. Multiple cases of adult Still's disease in families are uncommon, so it's unlikely that this disorder is inherited.
Most complications from adult Still's disease arise from chronic inflammation of your body organs and joints.
Preparing for your appointment
You're likely to start by first seeing your primary care provider. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a rheumatologist.
Because appointments can be brief and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Since your time with your doctor is limited, preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For adult Still's disease, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
What you can do in the meantime
Tests and diagnosis
There's no single test used to diagnose adult Still's disease. Your doctor will likely consider a number of diagnostic tools, because the signs and symptoms of adult Still's disease may mimic those of other conditions, such as mononucleosis, lymphoma or other rheumatic diseases. Your doctor may make a diagnosis based on the following:
Treatments and drugs
Doctors use a variety of drugs to treat adult Still's disease. The type of drug you'll take depends on the severity of your symptoms and whether you experience side effects.
Biologic response modifiers
Other medications, including rituximab (Rituxan), cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Gengraf, Neoral) and anakinra (Kineret), also have been used successfully in the treatment of adult Still's disease in small groups of people.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Here are a few ways to help you make the most of your health if you have adult Still's disease:
Adult Still's disease can't be prevented. However, sticking to your treatment regimen and calling your doctor if you develop problems may prevent complications.
Last Updated: 2010-09-11
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