Turkish Archives of Pediatrics
Original Article

Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, and Adenitis Syndrome: A Single-Center Experience


Department of Pediatric Rheumatology, Cerrahpasa Medical School, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey

Turk Arch Pediatr 2022; 57: 46-52
DOI: 10.5152/TurkArchPediatr.2021.21229
Read: 1656 Downloads: 518 Published: 01 January 2022

Objective: The purpose of this study is to share our experience about clinical findings, natural course, and treatment response rates of a large cohort of patients with periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and adenitis (PFAPA) syndrome.

Materials and Methods: Medical records of patients who were diagnosed with PFAPA syndrome between January 2010 and May 2021 at Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty pediatric rheumatology department were reviewed retrospectively.

Results: A total of 607 patients (females: 277, males: 330) with PFAPA syndrome were included. The median duration of episodes was 3 (1-15; interquartile range (IQR) 3-5) days, and the median interval between episodes was 20 days (5-120; IQR 15-30). The median age at the last attack and median disease duration were 66 (24-168; IQR 48-84) months and 40 (4-132; IQR 27.5-60) months, respectively. Fever (100%) was the most common clinical finding, followed by pharyngitis/exudative tonsillitis in 594 (97.9%), aphthous stomatitis in 308 (50.7%), cervical lymphadenopathy in 278 (45.8%), abdominal pain in 249 (41%), and arthralgia in 228 (37.6%) of the patients. Among the clinical findings, there was no statistical difference according to gender, except for cervical lymphadenitis being higher in males (P < .001). Of the patients who were given steroids during attacks, 94.6% were responsive. Colchicine was effective in 93 (63.7%) patients. The disease episodes ceased in 313 (95.4%) of patients who had tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy.

Conclusions: Clinicians should be alert for additional symptoms such as abdominal pain, arthralgia, and headache apart from the cardinal signs. Although tonsillectomy is highly effective, its use is controversial. Colchicine may be a good alternative for prophylaxis. 

Cite this article as: Yıldız M, Haslak F, Adrovic A, et al. Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis (PFAPA) syndrome: A single-center experience. Turk Arch Pediatr. 2022;57(1):46-52.

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