Still's Disease (cont.)

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How do health-care professionals diagnose Still's disease?

Still's disease is diagnosed purely on the basis of the typical clinical features of the illness. These features include high intermittent fever, joint inflammation and pain, muscle pain, faint salmon-colored skin rash, swelling of the lymph glands or enlargement of the spleen and liver, and inflammation around the heart (pericarditis) or lungs (pleuritis). Persistent arthritis (arthritis lasting at least six weeks) is required to make a firm diagnosis of Still's disease. Other diseases (especially infections, cancers, and other types of arthritis) must be excluded.

Many patients with Still's disease develop markedly elevated white blood cell counts, as if they have a serious infection, but no infection is found. Low red blood counts (anemia) and elevated blood tests that indicate inflammation (such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR, C-reactive protein, and ferritin) are common. However, the classic blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatoid factor) and systemic lupus erythematosus (antinuclear antibodies) are usually negative.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2015

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