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What is Adult Still's disease?

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Quick Answer

Adult's Still disease is an inflammatory form of arthritis characterized by a distinctive salmon-colored dermal breakout, sore throat and periodic sharp rises in body temperature, states Mayo Clinic. This rare medical condition is also referred to as adult-onset Still's disease, or AOSD.

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AOSD is a more frequent occurrence in women than in men, affecting fewer than 1 out of 100,000 people on an annual basis, reports the United States National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. As of 2015, the definite cause of AOSD remains unidentified, although certain studies attribute the onset of the disorder to an infection, notes the Arthritis Foundation.

Rheumatoid arthritis shares common features with AOSD. Typical symptoms of AOSD include muscle stiffness and painful throbbing in the joints due to inflammation. Several joints are usually simultaneously affected, such as the wrist, knee, elbow, ankle, shoulder and finger joints. Physical discomfort, which normally occurs in the morning, may last up to several hours. Aside from joint pain, other known symptoms include stomach ache and swelling, pain with prolonged inhalation, distended lymph nodes and weight loss.

Treatment of AOSD involves managing arthritic symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin are initially administered to patients. Those with severe AOSD are given prednisone. Immune suppressants, such as tumor necrosis factor antagonists, anakinra and methotrexate are prescribed for patients with long-term AOSD. Maintenance therapy is strongly advised even if the symptoms of AOSD are no longer experienced.

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