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J Pediatr (Rio J). 2001 Mar-Apr;77(2):105-11.

[Antistreptolysin O titer profile in acute rheumatic fever diagnosis]

[Article in Portuguese]

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Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu, SP, Brazil.



To determine ASO titer profile by establishing ARF differential diagnoses of other diseases with high levels of ASO antibodies.


We investigated 78 patients with ARF at onset and follow-up, 22 with isolated chorea at onset, 45 with recurrent oropharyngeal tonsillitis, and 23 with recent flare of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. We tested ASO with automated particle-enhanced immunonephelometric assay (Behring(R)-Germany). The ASO (IU/ml) titers were assessed at the following time intervals: 0-7 days, 1-2 weeks, 2-4 weeks, 1-2 months, 2-4 months, 4-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-2 years, 2-3 years, 3-4 years, and 4-5 years after onset of ARF.


ASO titers in patients diagnosed with ARF had a significant increase up to the 2-4-month time interval (P<0.0001). Baseline levels were observed afterwards in patients under regular penicillin prophylaxis. The levels of ASO in ARF were also significantly higher than in patients with isolated chorea, recurrent oropharyngeal infections or juvenile idiopathic arthritis (P=0.0025), when age-matched samples of these groups were compared. The testacute;s sensitivity was 73.3% and the specificity was 57.6%, and it was calculated taking into account the upper limit of normality at 320 IU/ml, as well as the established diagnosis of ARF. The testacute;s specificity and positive predictive value increased with rising or higher titers, being higher with titers above 960 UI/ml.


This reappraisal of ASO profile in ARF patients indicates a remarkable response during the acute phase, and that points to the extent to which ASO levels may differentiate ARF from other diseases with high levels of ASO antibodies, as coincidental but unrelated streptococcal infection or chronic arthritis flareup.

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