• The conditions of five adults were eventually diagnosed as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (Still's disease). Prolonged hospitalization, repetitive roentgenographic examinations, biopsies, laparotomies, and therapeutic trials with toxic agents preceded the establishment of the final diagnosis. Common early findings in all cases were prolonged "septic fever," polyarthralgia, and an elevated ESR. Three patients had a rash, four had splenomegaly, three had a vague history of a similar disease, and four had leukocytosis. Some of the patients were older than others described in the literature. Two received immunosuppressive agents and did relatively well. In view of our experience and the few reports in the literature, we concluded that juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in adults has to be seriously considered in the presence of prolonged septic fever, polyarthralgia, rash, and splenomegaly, before harmful drugs are given or risky procedures are performed.
(Arch Intern Med 140:1073-1074, 1980)