An Exploratory Study of the Genetics, Pathophysiology, and Natural History of Autoinflammatory Diseases

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Updated on 24 October 2022
genetic counseling
a dna
Accepts healthy volunteers


This study is designed to explore the genetics and pathophysiology of diseases presenting with intermittent fever, including familial Mediterranean fever, TRAPS, hyper-IgD syndrome, and related diseases.

The following individuals may be eligible for this study: 1) patients with known or suspected familial Mediterranean fever, TRAPS, hyper-IgD syndrome or related disorders; 2) relatives of these patients; 3) healthy, normal volunteers 7 years of age or older.

Patients will undergo a medical and family history, physical examination, blood and urine tests. Additional tests and procedures may include the following:

  1. X-rays
  2. Consultations with specialists
  3. DNA sample collection (blood or saliva sample) for genetic studies. These might include studies of specific genes, or more complete sequencing of the genome.
  4. Additional blood samples a maximum of 1 pint (450 ml) during a 6-week period for studies of white cell adhesion (stickiness)
  5. Leukapheresis for collecting larger amounts of white cells for study. For this procedure, whole blood is collected through a needle in an arm vein. The blood flows through a machine that separates it into its components. The white cells are removed and the rest of the blood is returned to the body through another needle in the other arm.

Patients may be followed approximately every 6 months to monitor symptoms, adjust medicine dosages, and undergo routine blood and urine tests. They will receive genetic counseling by the study team on the risk of having affected children and be advised of treatment options.

Participating relatives will undergo a medical and family history, possibly with a review of medical records, physical examination, blood and urine tests. Additional procedures may include a 24-hour urine collection, X-rays, and consultations with medical specialists. A DNA sample (blood or saliva) will also be collected for genetic studies. Additional blood samples of no more than 550 mL during an 8-week period may be requested for studies of white cell adhesion (stickiness).

Relatives who have familial Mediterranean fever, TRAPS, or hyper-IgD syndrome will receive the same follow-up and counseling as described for patients above.

Normal volunteers and patients with gout will have a brief health interview and check of vital signs (blood pressure and pulse) and will provide a blood sample (up to 90 ml, or 6 tablespoons). Additional blood samples of no more than 1 pint over a 6-week period may be requested in the future.


This is an exploratory natural history protocol that enrolls patients with known or as yet undiagnosed disorders of inflammation. Blood, saliva, or buccal samples will be collected for genetic analysis, blood samples will be obtained for immunologic and other functional studies, a small number of subjects may undergo skin biopsy, leukapheresis, or bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, and some subjects will be provided standard medical care follow up, with retrospective analysis of the clinical data gathered during follow up. The primary objective is to discover the genetic basis of human disorders of inflammation. The secondary objective is to enumerate immunologic features and genotype-phenotype associations in specific autoinflammatory diseases. The tertiary objective is to describe the clinical features of poorly characterized or newly defined disorders of inflammation. This protocol provided clinical support for the identification of the gene mutated in familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), the discovery of the TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS), the identification of NLRP3 mutations in the neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID), the discovery of the deficiency of the IL-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA), and the proposal of the now widely accepted concept of autoinflammatory disease. During the last decade the protocol has provided the clinical foundation for the discovery of ten more monogenic autoinflammatory diseases, seven of which were previously unrecognized as distinct diseases. The protocol has also permitted numerous studies delineating the mechanisms of autoinflammation and its connections with the human innate immune system. The work catalyzed by this protocol has provided the conceptual basis for a number of targeted therapies. During the next decade the objective will be to utilize cutting edge genomic technologies to further advance discovery.

Condition Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF), Autoinflammation, Periodic Fever, Fever, Genetic Diseases, ROSAH, ALPK1
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT00001373
SponsorNational Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Last Modified on24 October 2022


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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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