Jones Criteria


Other Known Aliasesdiagnostic criteria for acute rheumatic fever


Definitionclinical criteria to help diagnose acute rheumatic fever.  There are divided into major and minor criteria as follows:

  • Major
    • Polyarthritis
    • Carditis
    • Subcutaneous nodules
    • Erythema marginatum
    • Sydenham’s chorea
  • Minor
    • Fever
    • Arthralgia
    • Elevated ESR or CRP
    • Leukocytosis
    • 1st degree heart block

Clinical Significancea diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever is either two major or one major and two minor criteria


History – Named after T. Duckett Jones (1899-1954), an American cardiologist who received his medical doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1923.  With a keen interest in rheumatic fever and heart disease, he practiced at Massachusetts General Hospital and House of Good Samaritan in Boston for over 20 years.  He became the medical director of the Helen Way Whitney Foundation to pursue his passion for public health, which led to one of the first tweleve appointments to the National Advisory Heart Council in 1948.  He published his seminal paper entitled “The Diagnosis of Rheumatic Fever” in JAMA in 1944 which described these findings.  Dr. Jones unfortunately died as a result of malignant hypertension in 1954 at the age of 55.

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