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Reactive arthritis: signs, causes and remedy

The sort of irritation typically happens 1-6 weeks after the an infection, which is commonly sustained by microorganisms affecting the intestinal tract or genito-urinary tract.

It’s a rheumatologic illness that falls into the group of seronegative spondyloarthritis, together with others, as a result of it shares some widespread distinguishing options, equivalent to positivity for the HLA-B27 antigen and negativity for rheumatoid issue.

Reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome

In some instances the illness can also be referred to as Reiter’s syndrome.

Particularly, it’s a particular type of long-lasting reactive arthritis, which is commonly accompanied by:

  • arthritis (irritation of the joints);
  • conjunctivitis;
  • urethritis (irritation of the urinary tract).

Irritation of the joints often develops in folks between the ages of 18 and 40, hardly ever in kids or the aged.

It may happen in men and women, whether it is an an infection of the gastrointestinal tract, when it happens within the genitourinary tract it’s extra widespread in males.

Yearly, this discomfort impacts about 1-30 people per 100,000 inhabitants.

Septic arthritis

It can be crucial to not confuse reactive arthritis with septic arthritis.

The explanations are as follows:

  • septic arthritis is a illness by which the pathogenic micro-organism is positioned immediately contained in the joint and will be discovered by analyzing the synovial fluid;
  • In reactive arthritis, the micro-organism causes an infection of the mucous membranes of the intestinal or genitourinary tract and solely then, particularly in additional genetically predisposed individuals, can it trigger non-purulent joint irritation.

Signs embrace each articular and extra-articular manifestations

Articulating manifestations typically concern the leg joints, which can current as

  • swollen,
  • reddened,
  • stiff,
  • heat,
  • painful.

Additional-articular manifestations embrace:

  • persistent tiredness
  • reasonable fever,
  • weight reduction,
  • conjunctivitis
  • and oral ulcers.


Joint-related sickness is commonly attributable to an an infection of the gastrointestinal or genito-urinary tract.

The microbes usually liable for the an infection are totally different and are distinguished in line with the a part of our physique affected.

The genito-urinary tract:

  • Chlamydia trachomatis;
  • Ureaplasma urealyticum.

The digestive tract:

  • Shigella (flexneri, sonnei);
  • Yersinia (enterocolitica, pseudotuberculosis);
  • Salmonella (all serotypes);
  • Campylobacter (jejuni, fetus, lari).

After an infection, our immune system may contemplate joint and extra-articular buildings as targets to battle.

So our antibodies, along with combating the an infection, may goal buildings inside our personal physique.

It occurs solely hardly ever and customarily impacts genetically extra predisposed folks, equivalent to these with the HLA-B27 antigen.

Reactive arthritis, the danger elements

The primary threat issue that may result in the event of the illness is the presence of the HLA-B27 antigen.

60-85% of sufferers who develop reactive arthritis are HLA-B27 optimistic.

Human leukocyte antigens (HLA – Human leukocyte antigen) are proteins that permit the immune system to discriminate between cells within the physique and international cells.

Every of us has a selected HLA antigen mixture, current on the floor of leukocytes and different cells.

Thus, possessing the HLA-B27 antigen solely predisposes to the onset of reactive arthritis and different autoimmune illnesses.

The HLA-B27 antigen will increase the danger of inflicting reactive arthritis as much as 50-fold following an infection of the intestinal or genito-urinary tract.


To diagnose this illness, one proceeds by the use of anamnesis and on the idea of the precise medical image of the case.

Learn how to deal with reactive arthritis

Anti-inflammatory medication are ample to deal with arthritis that presents in a light type.

For extra extreme arthritis that’s refractory to remedy with anti-inflammatory medication, the physician could prescribe immunosuppressive medication (sulfasalazine, azathioprine, methotrexate). In some instances, if the severity is appreciable, apremilast, a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, could also be really useful.


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