Reactive arthritis: advances in diagnosis and treatment

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C. Palazzi *
I. Olivieri
C. Salvarani
E. D'Amico
G. Alleva
P. Vitullo
A. Petricca
(*) Corresponding Author:
C. Palazzi |


Reactive Arthritis (ReA) is an aseptic synovitis developing after a primary infection distant from the joint, mainly localized in the gastrointestinal (Enteroarthritis) or genitourinary tract (Uroarthritis). Because of either the asymmetric joint involvement, the possibility of involvement of the spine and enthesis, and the HLA-B27 association ReA is considered one of the spondylarthropathies. Recently, bacterial components or viable bacteria were found in joints during ReA. For this reason, the limits between ReA itself and infectious arthritis are now less definite. Generally accepted diagnostic and classification criteria are still lacking but the improvement in techniques for detection of bacteria increase the possibility to identify the triggering agents. Several studies have examined the role of antimicrobial drugs in ameliorating the natural course of ReA, with some positive results for Uroarthritis only. However, more conventional treatments based on NSAIDs, Sulfasalazine and steroids are effective in many cases.

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