This retrospective descriptive study aims to characterise and compare the clinical manifestations, course and outcome of 16 Oriental patients with adult-onset Still’s disease diagnosed in the last 4 years with published data based on Western populations and another Oriental (Japanese) series. Like the Japanese, we found a female preponderance, an older age at onset, and fewer patients with abdominal pain, myalgia, sore throat and serositis compared to the Western series. A longer delay in diagnosis occurred in patients lacking either arthritis or rash at presentation. Most patients had mild hyponatraemia and 2 patients had overt syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone secretion. All patients showed a dissociation of elevated aldolase with normal to low creatine kinase levels. Over 50% relapsed within a year from diagnosis and needed slow-acting anti-rheumatic drugs as steroid-sparing agents. Two were given intravenous pulse cyclophosphamide therapy for progressive pneumonitis. Outcome was generally good with minimal functional impairment and no mortality.
Although George Still first described systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) comprising fever, arthritis, lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly in 1897, it was not until 1971 that its nosologic entity presenting in adulthood was recognised by Eric Bywaters. Since then, well over 300 cases have been reported in the literature worldwide.
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