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Eur J Pediatr. 2011 Dec;170(12):1563-8. doi: 10.1007/s00431-011-1479-5. Epub 2011 May 3.

PFAPA syndrome in siblings. Is there a genetic background?

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Madrid, Spain.


"PFAPA syndrome" is an autoinflammatory entity composed of periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and cervical adenitis. There have been many reports of children with the disease, but only occasionally have been described in siblings, and no specific genetic mutation has been determined yet. Corticosteroids are the mainstay in the treatment of the acute attacks. The role of surgery in long-term follow-up (tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy) is controversial. We report two brothers affected with the syndrome, in whom corticosteroids as the only treatment led to an improvement. A genetic work-up was performed, making very unlikely other possible syndromes of recurrent fever.


PFAPA syndrome is the most common recurrent periodic fever disorder described in childhood. Its genetic background has not been elucidated yet. Our contribution with two siblings affected with PFAPA syndrome further support the genetic basis for the entity.

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