periodic fever syndromes

The child who seems to have a fever abnormally often, especially in an apparently regular cycle, presents a dilemma for the physician and worry for the parents. Often the problem is dispelled by careful record keeping with a fever calendar, but some children truly have high fevers without obvious cause on a very regular basis. These children may have one of several different familial periodic fever syndromes (hereditary autoinflammatory syndromes).

There are at least eight recognized syndromes of regularly recurring fevers. The periodic fever attacks may begin in childhood through adulthood. There may be associated inflammatory symptoms such as inflammation of the mucous membranes, joint inflammation and pain, muscle aches or skin rashes.

Diagnosis is usually made by a pediatric rheumatologist. Treatment is possible; colchicine is one drug used in treatment of the condition.

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