Management of adult-onset Still's disease with interleukin-1 inhibitors: Evidence- And consensus-based statements by a panel of Italian experts

Serena Colafrancesco, Maria Manara, Alessandra Bortoluzzi, Teodora Serban, Gerolamo Bianchi, Luca Cantarini, Francesco Ciccia, Lorenzo Dagna, Marcello Govoni, Carlomaurizio Montecucco, Roberta Priori, Angelo Ravelli, Paolo Sfriso, Luigi Sinigaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is a rare inflammatory condition characterized by fever, rash, and arthritis. Because of its rarity, clinical trials are inherently small and often uncontrolled. Our objective was to develop recommendations for the use of interleukin (IL)-1 inhibitors in the management of patients with AOSD, based on the best evidence and expert opinion. Methods: A panel of 10 experts (9 rheumatologists and 1 pediatrician) was established. The first step was dedicated to a comprehensive literature review and development of statements. Two separate literature searches were performed on the MEDLINE (Pubmed), EMBASE, and BIOSIS databases through April 2018 to identify (1) differences and similarities between AOSD and pediatric Still's disease (systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis [SJIA]) and (2) the efficacy and safety of IL-1 inhibitors in AOSD treatment. In the second step, the statements were submitted in a Delphi process to a panel of 67 rheumatologists. Consensus threshold was set at 66%: positive, > 66% of voters selected scores 3 to 5; negative, > 66% of voters selected scores 1 or 2. In the third step, the voting results were analyzed, and the statements were finalized. Results: Eleven statements were developed. Forty-six of 67 rheumatologists (72%) participated in the Delphi process. A positive consensus was reached after the first round of voting and was full (> 95%) on the majority of statements. A large consensus was achieved in considering AOSD and SJIA as the same disease. The use of anti-IL-1 therapies in refractory patients was considered quite safe and effective both as the first and as a subsequent line of biologic treatment, especially in systemic patients. Because of the lack of head-to-head comparisons, a different profile of efficacy among IL-1 inhibitors could not be established. There was a large consensus that failure of the first IL-1 inhibitor does not preclude response to another one. The lack of studies comparing early versus late treatment did not allow to draw conclusions; however, data from SJIA suggest a better response in early treatment. Conclusions: The Delphi method was used to develop recommendations that we hope will help clinicians in the management of patients with AOSD refractory to conventional therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number275
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2019


  • Adult-onset Still's disease
  • Anakinra
  • Canakinumab
  • Interleukin-1
  • Rilonacept
  • Still's disease
  • Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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