Diagnostic criteria for adult-onset periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and cervical adenitis (PFAPA) syndrome

Luca Cantarini, Antonio Vitale, Ludovico Luca Sicignano, Giacomo Emmi, Elena Verrecchia, Isabella Patisso, Lucia Cerrito, Claudia Fabiani, Gabriele Cevenini, Bruno Frediani, Mauro Galeazzi, Donato Rigante, Raffaele Manna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To identify a set of variables that could discriminate patients with adult-onset periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and cervical adenitis (PFAPA) syndrome from subjects with fever of unknown origin (FUO). Methods: We enrolled 74 adults diagnosed with PFAPA syndrome according to the currently used pediatric diagnostic criteria and 62 additional patients with FUO. After having collected clinical and laboratory data from both groups, univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify the variables associated with PFAPA diagnosis. Odds ratio (OR) values, their statistical significance, and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were evaluated for each diagnostic factor both at the univariate and multivariate analyses. Diagnostic accuracy was evaluated by the area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, while the leave-one-out cross-validation procedure was used to ensure that the model maintains the same diagnostic power when applied to new data. results: According to the multivariate analysis, the clinical variables that discriminated PFAPA patients were: fever episodes associated with cervical lymphadenitis (OR = 92; p < 0.0001), fever attacks associated with erythematous pharyngitis (OR = 231; p < 0.0001), increased inflammatory markers during fever attacks (OR = 588; p = 0.001), and the lack of clinical and laboratory signs of inflammation between flares (OR = 1202; p < 0.0001). These variables were considered for a diagnostic model which accounted for their OR values. The diagnostic accuracy of the proposed set of criteria corresponded to an area under ROC curve of 0.978 (95% CI 0.958-0.998), with a model sensitivity and specificity equal to 93.4% (95% CI 87.5-96.5%) and 91.7% (95% CI 82.8-96.7%), respectively. Conclusion: we have provided herein a set of clinical diagnostic criteria for adult-onset PFAPA syndrome. Our criteria represent an easy-to-use diagnostic tool aimed at identifying PFAPA patients among subjects with FUO with a high-predictive potential, as shown by its very high sensitivity and specificity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1018
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Volume8
Issue numberAUG
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 24 2017

Keywords

  • Adults
  • Autoinflammatory disease
  • Diagnostic criteria
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Fever of unknown origin
  • PFAPA syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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