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Donato Rigante


Autoinflammatory disorder, autoinflammation, interleukin-1, innovative biotechnologies, recurrent fever, personalized medicine, child


Systemic autoinflammatory disorders (SAIDs) are inherited defects of innate immunity characterized by recurrent sterile inflammatory attacks involving skin, joints, serosal membranes, gastrointestinal tube and other tissues, which recur with variable rhythmicity and display reactive amyloidosis as a potential long-term complication. Dysregulated inflammasome activity leading to overproduction of many proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), and delayed shutdown of inflammation are considered crucial pathogenic keys in the vast majority of SAIDs. Progresses of cellular biology have partially clarified the mechanisms behind monogenic SAIDs, such as familial Mediterranean fever, tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome, cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome, mevalonate kinase deficiency, hereditary pyogenic diseases, idiopathic granulomatous diseases and defects of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, whereas little is clarified for the polygenic SAIDs, such as periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and cervical adenopathy (PFAPA) syndrome. The puzzle of symptomatic febrile attacks recurring over time in children requires evaluating the mixture of clinical data, inflammatory parameters in different disease phases, therapeutic efficacy of specific drugs such as colchicine, corticosteroids or IL-1 antagonists, and genotype analysis in selected cases. Long-term history of periodic fevers should also need to rule out chronic infections and malignancies. This review is conceived as a practical template for a proper classification of children with recurring fevers and includes tips useful for the diagnostic approach to SAIDs, focusing on the specific acute painful symptoms and blood manifestations encountered in childhood.


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