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Assessment of children presenting with rheumatic complaints to a tertiary center in Turkey: differences in an Eastern Mediterranean population


To evaluate the profile of rheumatic complaints in children in Turkey. The data of the first half of a 6-month prospective study is presented.


Demographic features, medical history, symptoms and signs of children with rheumatic complaints were analysed prospectively in a tertiary health center in central Anatolia. A detailed rheumatologic examination was done. Complete blood counts, ESR, CRP measurement were performed in all patients; other studies were done if necessary.


From 01st December 2007 to 29th February 2008, a total of 241 children (M/F: 124/117; mean age 8.0 ± 4.0 years) were enrolled. Knee, ankle, hip and wrist were the most frequently involved joints. 61.8% had rheumatic diseases, and 38.2% had non-rheumatic diseases. The common causes constituted of familial Mediterranean fever (12.0%), other periodic fever syndromes (2.1%), HSP (8.7%) and other vasculitides (3.7%), JIA (10.0%), toxic synovitis (6.6%), rheumatic complaints during the course of an infectious disease (7.9%), growth pain (12.9%), orthopedic problems (18.7%); acute rheumatic fever (1.7%), malignancy (1.7%), SLE (1.2%), dermatomyositis (0.4%), overlap syndrome (0.4%) and fibromyalgia (0.8%) were rare.


This is the first study assessing the profile of rheumatic complaints in this part of the world. Our results have showed that auto-inflammatory diseases are strikingly high. Vasculitides and HSP are higher, whereas fibromyalgia is very rare compared to Western Europe. The frequency of ARF has decreased.

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Correspondence to Ö Bircan Cavkaytar.

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About this article


  • Vasculitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatic Disease
  • Synovitis
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever