Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis
|Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis|
|Classification and external resources|
Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis or periodic fever aphthous pharyngitis and cervical adenopathy (PFAPA) syndrome is a medical condition, typically starting in young children, in which high fever occurs periodically at intervals of about 3–5 weeks, frequently accompanied by aphthous-like ulcers, pharyngitis and/or cervical adenitis (cervical lymphadenopathy). The syndrome was described in 1987 and named two years later.
Signs and symptoms
The key symptoms of PFAPA are those in its name: periodic high fever at intervals of about 3–5 weeks, as well as aphthous ulcers, pharyngitis and/or adenitis. In between episodes, and even during the episodes, the children appear healthy. At least 6 months of episodes. Diagnosis requires recurrent negative throat cultures and that other causes (such as EBV, CMV, FMF) be excluded.
The condition appears to be the result of a disturbance of innate immunity. The changes in the immune system are complex and include increased expression of complement related genes (C1QB, C2, SERPING1), interleulkin-1-related genes (interleukin-1B, interleukin 1 RN, CASP1, interleukin 18 RAP) and interferon induced (AIM2, IP-10/CXCL10) genes. T cell associated genes (CD3, CD8B) are down regulated. Flares are accompanied by increased serum levels of activated T lymphocyte chemokines (IP-10/CXCL10, MIG/CXCL9), G-CSF and proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin 6, interleukin 18). Flares also manifest with a relative lymphopenia. Activated CD4(+)/CD25(+) T-lymphocyte counts correlated negatively with serum concentrations of IP-10/CXCL10, whereas CD4(+)/HLA-DR(+) T lymphocyte counts correlated positively with serum concentrations of the counterregulatory IL-1 receptor antagonist.
PFAPA syndrome typically resolves spontaneously. Treatment options are used to lessen the severity of episodes. Treatment is either medical or surgical.
One treatment often used is a dose of a corticosteroid at the beginning of each fever episode. A single dose usually ends the fever within several hours. However, in some children, they can cause the fever episodes to occur more frequently. Interleukin-1 inhibition appears to be effective in treating this condition.
According to present research, PFAPA does not lead to other diseases and spontaneously resolves as the child gets older, with no long term physical effects.   However, PFAPA has been found in adults and may not spontaneously resolve.[non-primary source needed]
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