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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2020, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (6): 530-534.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2020.08.004

• Case Report • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Adult-onset Still's disease successfully treated with Chinese herbal medicine: A case report with 15-month follow-up

Ming-sheng Lyu a,b, De-ying Li b, Shao-zhong Zhoub, Cheng-jun Banb, Jun Yanb   

  1. a Department of Respiratory Medicine, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100700, China
    b Department of Respiratory Medicine, the Third Affiliated Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2020-04-21 Accepted:2020-07-10 Online:2020-11-10 Published:2020-08-26
  • Contact: Cheng-jun Ban; E-mail address: Jun Yan; E-mail address:

Adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD) is a rare but clinically well-known, polygenic, and systemic autoinflammatory disease, which is characterized by spiking fever, evanescent skin rash, arthralgia, and sore throat. The application of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glucocorticoids, which are first-line therapies of AOSD, is limited due to their side effects such as liver injury or disorder of blood glucose. Therefore, patients who suffer from systemic diseases in China prefer to seek help from Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), which is an important part of complementary and alternative medicine. In this case, we report a 28-year-old male badminton coach presenting with a 15-day history of fever and skin rash, accompanied by sore throat, fatigue, myalgia and chills. Additionally, hepatosplenomegaly, multiple lymphadenopathies, aminotransferase abnormality, and elevated inflammatory factor levels were observed during hospitalization. Infectious diseases, solid tumors, hematological diseases, and common autoimmune diseases were excluded. Not benefitting from antibiotic therapy, the patient was finally diagnosed with AOSD, after a careful examination, then showed rapid remission after a six-week treatment with CHM granules based on Xiaochaihu Decoction and Yinqiao Powder. After stopping the treatment, there was no relapse within a 15-month follow-up period. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first well-documented case of this successful treatment. The present case report suggests that CHM is a reliable choice for complementary and alternative therapy for AOSD, but confirming the utility of CHM for AOSD requires further support from prospective studies.

Key words: Adult-onset Still's disease, Chinese herbal medicine, Fever of unknown origin, Xiaochaihu Decoction, Yinqiao Powder, Case report

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