Articular Manifestations of Rheumatic Fever in Adults

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Six adult patients had a syndrome indistinguishable from childhood rheumatic fever, with few cardiac findings and an arthritis that had a characteristic pattern. The joint disease was abrupt in onset, rapidly additive, and eventually symmetrical, with a lower-extremity, large-joint predominance and a profoundly symptomatic tenosynovitis. Emphasizing the benign prognosis associated with a lack of heart disease and a “typical” pattern of articular involvement, we have reassessed the sensitivity of the traditional diagnostic Jones' criteria and suggest that this syndrome in adults may be more properly termed “poststreptococcal arthritis.”

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