Since its clinical definition in 1987, the syndrome called, "periodic fever, aphtous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis" syndrome (PFAPA) has been considered peculiar to pediatric age. In the recent literature there are a few case reports of PFAPA in adults. We describe a case of a 21-year-old female affected by PFAPA who presented a history of tonsillectomy at the age of four. To our knowledge this is the fourth case described with a diagnosis of PFAPA in an adult with a history of tonsillectomy during childhood. Although the role of tonsillectomy in the treatment of PFAPA is still controversial, due to the lack of definitive data in literature, this case suggests that fever episodes may relapse several years after surgery.
"This syndrome does not have a documented genetic basis, and spontaneous resolution of fever episodes is commonly observed a few years after symptom onset (Marshall et al., 1987, 1989; Thomas et al., 1999). Recent medical literature has included dozens of suspected cases in adults as well, suggesting that it should be taken into consideration also in adults (Cavuoto and Bonagura, 2008; Padeh et al., 2008; Colotto et al., 2011; Cantarini et al., 2012d,e; Cazzato et al., 2013). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PFAPA syndrome is characterized by periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis. Tonsillectomy and adenotonsillectomy are surgical treatment options for this periodic fever syndrome, the significance of which will be discussed.
Between 2004 and 2010 we collected data of 36 patients with the diagnosis of PFAPA syndrome. Data analysis was carried out on the basis of structured questionnairs, patients' files as well as a systematic evaluation of international literature up to April 2011.
The average age for the appearance of PFAPA episodes was 22 months and they recurred for an average duration of 3-5 days every 14-33 days. During a PFAPA attack, aphthous stomatitis was present in 70% of the patients, pharyngitis was present in 93% and cervical adenitis in 96%. The family history for recurrent fever was positive in 4 of the patients. In 85% cortikosteroids were the only effective medicative treatment with no further symptoms until the next attack. Surgery (tonsillectomy±adenoidectomy) aborted the PFAPA episodes in 10 of 16 patients, in 2 patients the frequency of episodes decreased, 3 patients had no noticeable change and 1 patient died as a result of postsurgical bleeding at another institution. After an average duration of illness of 4 years the PFAPA syndrome was in spontaneous remission in 8 patients.
Tonsillectomy is an effective treatment option for the PFAPA syndrome. Contrary to a general indication the decision should be personalized considering the benefit vs. the risk of operation with the advice of an ENT specialist.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: «PFAPA syndrome» is an autoinflammatory entity consisting of periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenitis. Its etiology is unknown although a dysregulation in the control of the autoinflammatory response seems to play a role. Although a genetic origin is suspected, no specific mutation has been determined yet. Corticosteroids are the mainstay of the treatment during the acute attacks. However, in long-term follow-up the role of tonsillectomy is controversial.
A retrospective study of the pediatric cases diagnosed with the PFAPA syndrome was performed in our center during the last 4 years.
Ten patients were diagnosed with the syndrome who received corticosteroids as the only treatment with improvement and favourable prognosis.
PFAPA syndrome is the most common periodic fever disorder described in childhood whose genetic background has not been yet clarified. Our contribution with 10 patients further supports the common existence of this entity and the need to keep it in mind when having recurrent fevers.
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