Edit concept Create issue ticket

Marshall's Syndrome

Marshall Syndrome

Marshall's syndrome is characterized by the appearance of a periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and cervical adenitis in children. The condition cannot be recognized without adequate clinical suspicion. Findings from physical examination and exclusion of other conditions with a similar clinical presentation through laboratory workup are mandatory steps to make the diagnosis.


The principal signs and symptoms of Marshall's syndrome are the onset of a periodic fever (often > 39 °C) accompanied by pharyngitis, aphthous stomatitis, and cervical adenitis, which is why it is also termed PFAPA syndrome, named after its typical clinical features [1] [2] [3]. The onset of symptoms is usually before 5 years of age, but the disease was described in patients with aged between 3 months and 12 years [4]. Their duration is approximately 3-6 days and recurrence is observed every 3-8 weeks [2] [3] [5] [6]. In the asymptomatic period, children report no complaints, and normal growth and development are noted [5]. In virtually all patients, Marshall's syndrome spontaneously resolves when adolescence is reached, and the disorder does not pose a risk for the child, especially with early recognition and initiation of proper glucocorticoid therapy [7]. However, a very small number of individuals experience symptoms throughout adulthood and in fact, several reports show that an adult-onset form of the disease can develop as well [3] [5] [6] [8]. Additional infrequently present symptoms of Marshall's syndrome are headaches, rash, joint pain, and gastrointestinal complaints, such as abdominal pain, dysphagia, weight loss and even anorexia [4] [5] [9]. Apart from a small predilection toward male gender, no other risk factors have been identified [8].

Short Stature
  • Symptoms - Marshall syndrome * Short stature * Short nose * Depressed nose * Flat nasal bridge * Anteverted nose Causes - Marshall syndrome Not supplied. Prevention - Marshall syndrome Not supplied.[checkorphan.org]
  • Physical findings : Short stature; kyphoscoliosis; nontraumatic fractures; failure to thrive; developmental delay or intellectual disability; respiratory compromise; unusual facies with wide and prominent forehead (frontal bossing); protruding and widely[secure.ssa.gov]
  • Those with Marshall syndrome can also have short stature. Some researchers have argued that Marshall syndrome represents a variant form of Stickler syndrome; but this remains controversial.[diseaseinfosearch.org]
  • Approximately seven multigenerational families have been reported since.2 Short stature, sensorineural hearing loss, and a characteristic facial appearance with hypoplastic nasal bones characterize the syndrome.[healio.com]
  • Those with Marshall syndrome can also have short stature .[rarediseases.info.nih.gov]
  • With help from the Dutch Rare Disease Fund and the Dutch Genetic Alliance , over 40,000 was raised in a year, enabling not only the funding of the first research, but also the organisation of a global meeting between families.'[eurordis.org]
  • Other languages currently under completion include: Dutch, French, Norwegian (by SPISS), Hebrew and Chinese.[taniaannmarshall.wordpress.com]
  • The syndrome was named after the Dutch Physician who fi rst described it in 1951. There are actually several diff erent manifestations of this syndrome that have been identifi ed subsequently.[pireport.org]
  • Other translations currently bring completed include: Italian, French, Dutch, Norwegian, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Hebrew in 2015-2016.[taniamarshall.com]
Pediatric Disorder
  • disorder first described in 1966 by Marshall et al. in a case series of five African children. [2] The acute phase is characterized by the onset of multiple, erythematous, edematous papules and plaques on face, trunk, and extremities.[ijpd.in]
  • Additional infrequently present symptoms of Marshall's syndrome are headaches, rash, joint pain, and gastrointestinal complaints, such as abdominal pain, dysphagia, weight loss and even anorexia.[symptoma.com]
Coxa Valga
  • Hos skolebarn med hoftesmerter er det påvist skjelettforandringer som coxa valga, breddeforøket lårhals og protrusio acetabuli. Disse forandringene disponerer for utvikling av hofteleddsartrose.[tidsskriftet.no]
Round Face
  • The facial features of Marshall Syndrome include a flat midface, the appearance of large eyes, short upturned nose, and a round face.[en.wikipedia.org]


Although Marshall's or PFAPA syndrome is considered to be the most common cause of periodic fevers in childhood [5] [6], its diagnosis may be challenging in the absence of clinical suspicion, which is often lacking [8]. For this reason, a detailed patient history and a meticulous physical examination are vital constituents during workup, as confirmation of this disorder relies almost exclusively on clinical criteria [2] [5]. Appearance of fevers, their duration, as well as the duration of the asymptomatic period, should be noted during history taking, whereas observation of cervical lymphadenopathy, aphthous ulcers, and signs of pharyngitis in the absence of recurrent respiratory infections (which may point to infections or immunodeficiencies as the underlying cause) are diagnostic for Marshall's syndrome [6] [9]. A complete blood count (CBC) and evaluation of basic inflammatory parameters may reveal leukocytosis, as well as elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein during symptomatic stages [4]. Because of a very broad differential diagnosis (familial Mediterranean fever, hyperimmunoglobulinemia D syndrome, cyclic neutropenia, numerous infectious diseases, Behçet's disease, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis), a complete biochemical and immunological workup is advised to rule out disorders with certain laboratory criteria [1] [5]. Genetic studies are not yet available, as the etiology of Marshall's syndrome remains to be discovered, although various cells and cytokines in the immune system (Th1 subset of CD4+ T-lymphocytes, interleukin-1, and interferon), but also genes (primarily the Mediterranean fever gene, or MEFV) have been implicated in the pathogenesis [3].

Treponema Pallidum
  • Just as the bacteria causing Leprosy (mycobacterium leprae) and the bacteria causing Syphilis (treponema pallidum) are nearly impossible to culture, I expect it is unlikely we will be able to culture these Th1 pleomorphs until we fully understand the[prohealth.com]


  • The etiology remains unknown and there is no definitive treatment.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Treatment - Marshall syndrome Due to complicated medical treatment of symptoms (sometimes in parallel involving several Marshall syndrome cannot be cured; however, the symptoms caused by the disease should be treated.[checkorphan.org]
  • Treatment Treatment Options: No treatment is available for this disorder beyond cataract removal. Patients need to be monitored for retinal breaks and detachments.[disorders.eyes.arizona.edu]
  • TREATMENT There is no cure for MSS. Treatment is symptom specific and supportive. Children with MSS are treated with aggressive management of early respiratory and feeding difficulties.[secure.ssa.gov]
  • There is no cure for the syndrome, but many different treatments and lifestyle changes are possible to make it easier to live with, particularly if it is identified early enough.[wisegeek.com]


  • Prognosis - Marshall syndrome As they age, vision and hearing problems will generally worsen for patients with Marshall syndrome.[checkorphan.org]
  • Prognosis has improved considerably in recent years to nearly full life expectancy. However, if left untreated, it can be life threatening.[tall.life]
  • For the last 100 years sarcoidosis patients have been told that there is no known cause and no known cure for their disease (much the same prognosis being given to CFS and FM patients).[prohealth.com]
  • Prognosis Marshall-Smith syndrome has long been considered a childhood condition because affected individuals did not typically survive past childhood..[marshallsmith.org]


  • The etiology remains unknown and there is no definitive treatment.[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
  • Genetic studies are not yet available, as the etiology of Marshall's syndrome remains to be discovered, although various cells and cytokines in the immune system (Th1 subset of CD4 T-lymphocytes, interleukin-1, and interferon), but also genes (primarily[symptoma.com]
  • It is hoped that the etiology of the syndrome will be discovered as more cases are recognized and reported by pediatricians caring for infants with failure to thrive, advanced bone age, and chronic respiratory symptomatology.[pediatrics.aappublications.org]
  • […] arterial tortuosity syndrome and X-linked cutis laxa. [3] , [4] The acquired form is divided into two groups according to the clinical and histological features: Type 1 or generalized acquired elastolysis and type 2 or Marshall's syndrome. [5] A number of etiologic[ijdvl.com]


  • The discussion covers the phenotype spectrum, epidemiology, mode of inheritance, pathogenesis, and clinical profile of each condition, all of which is accompanied by a wealth of illustrations.[books.google.it]
  • A recent review suggests “Epidemiological evidence indicates a significant association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased incidence of several autoimmune diseases (4).”[sciencebasedmedicine.org]
Sex distribution
Age distribution


  • Prevention - Marshall syndrome Not supplied. Diagnosis - Marshall syndrome Individuals are diagnosed by their features as well as by the very early onset of serious eye and ear disease.[checkorphan.org]
  • But hopefully we will also be able to prevent many of the sometimes life-threatening complications.[marshallsmith.org]
  • […] of other conditions or disorders (i.e., personality disorders, difficulties distinguishing between reality and fantasy), difficulties with work, the law and court system and/or suicide Prevention of mis-directed treatment Learning about how one thinks[taniaannmarshall.wordpress.com]
  • Accident Analysis & Prevention (Candrive special issue) 2013;61:236-244.[med.uottawa.ca]
  • Treatment [ edit ] There is no medical treatment for either syndrome but there are some recommendations that can help with prevention or early identification of some of the problems.[en.wikipedia.org]



  1. Berlucchi M, Meini A, Plebani A, Bonvini MG, Lombardi D, Nicolai P. Update on treatment of Marshall's syndrome (PFAPA syndrome): report of five cases with review of the literature. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2003;112(4):365-369.
  2. Trandafir LM, Chiriac MI, Diaconescu S, Ioniuc I, Miron I, Rusu D. Marshall syndrome in a young child, a reality: Case report. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(44):e5065.
  3. Salehzadeh F, Vahedi M, Hosseini-Asl S, Jahangiri S, Habibzadeh S, Hosseini-Khotbesara M. PFAPA and 12 Common MEFV Gene Mutations Our Clinical Experience. Iran J Pediatr. 2014;24(1):64-68.
  4. Ovetchkine P, Bry ML, Reinert P. Marshall syndrome: results of a retrospective national survey [Article in French]. Arch Pediatr. 2000;7(3):578s-582s.
  5. Stojanov S, Lapidus S, Chitkara P, et al. Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis, and adenitis (PFAPA) is a disorder of innate immunity and Th1 activation responsive to IL-1 blockade. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2011;108(17):7148-7153.
  6. Vanoni F, Theodoropoulou K, Hofer M. PFAPA syndrome: a review on treatment and outcome. Pediatric Rheumatology Online Journal. 2016;14:38.
  7. Thomas KT, Feder HM Jr, Lawton AR, Edwards KM. Periodic fever syndrome in children. J Pediatr. 1999;135(1):15-21.
  8. Tasher D, Somekh E, Dalal I. PFAPA syndrome: new clinical aspects disclosed. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2006;91(12):981-984.
  9. Femiano F, Lanza A, Buonaiuto C, Gombos F, Cirillo N. Oral aphthous-like lesions, PFAPA syndrome: a review. J Oral Pathol Med. 2008;37(6):319-323.

Ask Question

5000 Characters left Format the text using: # Heading, **bold**, _italic_. HTML code is not allowed.
By publishing this question you agree to the TOS and Privacy policy.
• Use a precise title for your question.
• Ask a specific question and provide age, sex, symptoms, type and duration of treatment.
• Respect your own and other people's privacy, never post full names or contact information.
• Inappropriate questions will be deleted.
• In urgent cases contact a physician, visit a hospital or call an emergency service!
Last updated: 2018-06-22 05:20