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July 1995

The Jones Criteria for Guidance in the Diagnosis of Rheumatic Fever: Another Perspective

Author Affiliations

University of Connecticut Health Center Farmington

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(7):725-726. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170200015001

AN ARTICLE titled "The Diagnosis of Rheumatic Fever" by T. Duckett Jones, MD, appeared in JAMA in 1944.1 In what has become a historic paper, Jones presented a set of rules for the diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever that thereafter became known as the Jones criteria. There have been several modifications and revisions of these criteria over the past half century, and these are reviewed in an article elsewhere in this issue of the Archives.2 However, the basic principles and general framework of the original criteria have remained intact.

In the decades preceding the publication of the criteria, rheumatic fever was prevalent in the United States and the leading cause of death in children and adolescents between 5 and 20 years of age.3 During that period, there were hospitals in many of our cities devoted exclusively to the care of patients with rheumatic fever. Jones was the

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