Focus on the spondyloarthritides. Can earlier diagnosis change the course of the disease?

Abstract

The spondyloarthritides (or spondyloarthropathies) (SPAs) are chronic, inflammatory, rheumatic diseases of unknown origin, which share certain clinical, epidemiological, and genetic characteristics. They include ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis (also known as the Reiter Syndrome), psoriatic arthritis, enteropathic spondyloarthropathy (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease), undifferentiated spondyloarthritis, juvenile spondyloarthritis, and formes frustes such as acute anterior uveitis, spondyloarthritic carditis, and balanitis circinata. In the past, the SPAs were considered variants of rheumatoid arthritis, but it is now clear that they differ from the latter disease in terms of the pattern of articular and extra-articular involvement, their lack of association with seropositivity for rheumatoid factor, and their strong association with sacro-iliac joint bacino= pelvis sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint the class I human leukocyte antigen B27. sacro-iliac joint bacino= pelvis sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint sacro-iliac joint Their general characteristics are axial involvement; enthesitis; peripheral arthritis involving the lower limbs, which is usually asymmetric; dactylitis; extra-articular manifestations involving the skin, eyes, bowel, and genitals. The musculoskeletal manifestations of the SPAs are due to inflammation at the level of the entheses. It is important to distinguish between the numerous clinical SPA variants based on analysis of symptoms, laboratory tests, and instrumental studies. Thanks to a greater understanding of the pathogenesis of the SPAs and the widespread availability of highly sensitive imaging modalities for their diagnosis, it is now possible to identify these diseases early and modify their course with effective therapy. This approach offers benefits to patients in terms of reduced morbidity and mortality and improved quality of life.

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Published
2013-04-30
Section
Chronic Diseases
Keywords:
Enthesitis, Dactylitis, Human Leukocyte Antigen B-27 (HLA-B27), Rheumatoid Factor, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Pelvis and sacro-iliac joint.
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How to Cite
Galasso, D., Forte, G., & Marigliano, N. (2013). Focus on the spondyloarthritides. Can earlier diagnosis change the course of the disease?. Italian Journal of Medicine, 4(4), 277-283. https://doi.org/10.4081/itjm.2010.277