Learn About Adult Still's Disease

What is the definition of Adult Still's Disease?

Adult Still disease (ASD) is a rare illness that causes high fevers, rash, and joint pain. It may lead to long-term (chronic) arthritis.

Adult Still disease is a severe version of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), which occurs in children. Adults can have the same condition, although it is much less common. It is also called adult-onset Still disease (AOSD).

Save information for later
Sign Up
What are the alternative names for Adult Still's Disease?

Still's disease - adult; Adult-onset Still's disease; AOSD; Wissler-Fanconi syndrome

What are the causes of Adult Still's Disease?

Fewer than 1 out of 100,000 people develop ASD each year. It affects women more often than men.

The cause of adult Still disease is unknown. No risk factors for the disease have been identified.

What are the symptoms of Adult Still's Disease?

Almost all people with the disease will have fever, joint pain, sore throat, and a rash.

  • Joint pain, warmth, and swelling are common. Most often, several joints are involved at the same time. Often, people with the condition have morning stiffness of joints that lasts for several hours.
  • The fever comes on quickly once per day, most commonly in the afternoon or evening.
  • The skin rash is often salmon-pink colored and comes and goes with the fever.

Additional symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Pain when taking a deep breath (pleurisy)
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands)
  • Weight loss

The spleen or liver may become swollen. Lung and heart inflammation may also occur.

Not sure about your diagnosis?
Check Your Symptoms
What are the current treatments for Adult Still's Disease?

The goal of treatment for adult Still disease is to control the symptoms of arthritis. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are most often used first.

Prednisone may be used for more severe cases.

If the disease is severe or persists for a long time (becomes chronic), medicines that suppress the immune system might be needed. Such medicines include:

  • Methotrexate
  • Anakinra (interleukin-1 receptor agonist)
  • Tocilizumab (interleukin 6 inhibitor)
  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists such as etanercept (Enbrel)
Who are the top Adult Still's Disease Local Doctors?
Learn about our expert tiers
Learn more
What is the outlook (prognosis) for Adult Still's Disease?

In many people, symptoms may come back several times over the next few years.

Symptoms continue for a long time (chronic) in about one third of people with adult Still disease.

What are the possible complications of Adult Still's Disease?

A rare form of the disease, called macrophage activation syndrome, can be very severe with high fevers, severe illness and low blood cell counts. The bone marrow is involved and biopsy is needed to make the diagnosis.

Other complications may include:

  • Arthritis in several joints
  • Liver disease
  • Pericarditis
  • Pleural effusion
  • Spleen enlargement
When should I contact a medical professional for Adult Still's Disease?

Call your provider if you have symptoms of adult Still disease.

If you have already been diagnosed with the condition, you should call your provider if you have a cough or difficulty breathing.

How do I prevent Adult Still's Disease?

There is no known prevention.

What are the latest Adult Still's Disease Clinical Trials?
A Phase 1, First-In-Human, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamics of Single Ascending Dose of APB-R3 in Healthy Participants

Summary: This will be a single centre, Phase 1, First-In-Human, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamics of Single Ascending Dose of APB-R3 in Healthy Participants.

Match to trials
Find the right clinical trials for you in under a minute
Get started
A Phase 1b, Multicenter, Open-Label Study to Evaluate the Safety and Tolerability, Efficacy, Pharmacokinetics, and Pharmacodynamics of AEVI-007 in Subjects With Adult Onset Still's Disease

Summary: The main purpose of the study is to evaluate the safety and tolerability of AEVI-007 in participants with Adult Onset Still's Disease (AOSD).

What are the Latest Advances for Adult Still's Disease?
A systematic literature review informing the consensus statement on efficacy and safety of pharmacological treatment with interleukin-6 pathway inhibition with biological DMARDs in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.
Systematic Review of Safety and Efficacy of IL-1-Targeted Biologics in Treating Immune-Mediated Disorders.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
The use of cyclophosphamide in the treatment of Still's disease - a case report.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: January 31, 2021
Published By: Diane M. Horowitz, MD, Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Alonso ER, Marques AO. Adult-onset still disease. In: Hochberg MC, Gravallese EM, Silman AJ, Smolen JS, Weinblatt ME, Weisman MH, eds. Rheumatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 173.

Gerfaud-Valentin M, Maucort-Boulch D, Hot A, et al. Adult-onset still disease: manifestations, treatment, outcome, and prognostic factors in 57 patients. Medicine (Baltimore). 2014;93(2):91-99. PMID: 24646465 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24646465/.

Kaneko Y, Kameda H, Ikeda K, et al. Tocilizumab in patients with adult-onset still's disease refractory to glucocorticoid treatment: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2018;77(12):1720-1729. PMID: 30279267 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30279267/.

National Organization for Rare Disorders website. Rare diseases.org. Adult onset Still's disease. rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/adult-onset-stills-disease/. Updated 2021. Accessed May 10, 2021.

Ortiz-Sanjuán F, Blanco R, Riancho-Zarrabeitia L, et al. Efficacy of anakinra in refractory adult-onset Still's disease: multicenter study of 41 patients and literature review. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015;94(39):e1554. PMID: 26426623 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26426623/.