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What are autoinflammatory syndromes

The term "autoinflammation" was first identified in connection with a group of hereditary syndromes which are characterized by bouts of periodic recurrent fever. Systemic inflammatory processes of the body without any underlying symptoms of infections, allergies, immune defects or autoimmune diseases are characteristic for autoinflammatory diseases. The patients affected often suffer continuous or recurrent skin eruptions. In addition bouts of fever, joint pain and headaches as well as a number of further symptoms may occur.
As autoinflammatory syndromes are, as a rule, very rare diseases they frequently go hand in hand with a diagnosis delayed by several years or even decades.

A late diagnosis often entails severe complications which cause the high morbidity and mortality of the diseases. Due to the generalized inflammation, the diagnostics and treatment of autoinflammatory diseases are a great challenge in many cases which can only be mastered in co-operation with various specialized fields of medicine. Depending on the age group and the leading symptoms, the affected patients are primarily under the care of paediatricians, rheumatologists and dermatologists.

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