background In 1996 a new concept, PANDAS (Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections) was introduced into psychiatry. It is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder and tic disorder which is perceived to have a temporal link with a group A ß-haemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) infection.
aim To conduct a critical review of the PANDAS concept.
method By searching PubMed using as key words 'PANDAS', 'streptococcal', 'obsessive compulsive disorder', 'tic disorder', 'Sydenham', 'chorea', 'D8/17' and 'treatment'. We were able to study relevant articles published between 1996 and 2003 together with the bibliographic references accompanying these articles.
results Thirty-three references were included in this review.
conclusion So far there is very little justification for regarding PANDAS as a separate disorder; the concept, however, is interesting and deserves further study.