Reactive Arthritis – Reiter’s Syndrome
Reactive arthritis, or Reiter’s syndrome, is a disease that affects the joints. It can cause painful and debilitating symptoms. There are a number of treatments available to combat the problem, including medication. You can learn more about the symptoms and diagnosis in this article.
Reactive arthritis is an inflammatory condition of the joints caused by an infectious trigger. It is characterized by musculoskeletal symptoms, including arthritis, enthesitis and back pain. It is also commonly accompanied by extra-articular manifestations. The symptoms can be acute or chronic, depending on the type of triggering agent. ReA can affect both males and females.
ReA is an infection-induced systemic illness, often affecting young adults. The disease is thought to be triggered by an enteric pathogen, with bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella and Chlamydia being considered the major triggers. However, these infections can also travel to the joints through other pathways, including the genitourinary tract.
Patients with ReA will typically develop symptoms within a week to a month of the onset of the initial infection. In many cases, ReA will resolve spontaneously. In a minority of cases, patients will develop chronic symptoms. This is a situation that can be prevented by early recognition of the condition and prompt treatment. In addition, ReA can be treated with local steroids, such as indomethacin, doxycycline, or a tumour necrosis factor antagonist.
The diagnosis of ReA is based on a careful history and physical examination. The patient’s symptoms can also be triggered by prior infection, which is why it is important to identify any underlying cause of the condition. This can be done by undergoing routine synovial fluid cultures. Alternatively, urogenital cultures can be used to rule out gonorrhoea. The results of these tests may help the clinician identify the type of infectious agent that is causing the ReA.
Approximately 30% of ReA patients will eventually develop chronic disease. Some patients will never complete the classic Reiter’s triad, while others will have multiple episodes of ReA. Several randomized trials have investigated the use of long-term antibiotic therapy. While some studies have found that this approach is helpful, most have found no benefit. In addition, patients who received antibiotics experienced twice the rate of gastrointestinal side effects.
ReA is a relatively rare disease. It can occur sporadically or in outbreaks of infection. It occurs in a genetically susceptible population. Some studies have estimated that the prevalence of ReA post-enteric infections is high in third-world countries, while others believe it is low.
In order to differentiate ReA from other types of inflammatory arthritis, the presence of an antecedent infection is a key factor. In most cases, the triggering organism is gram-negative. It is also believed that the pathogens involved in ReA are viable. This is because they can survive in the synovium and are present in synovial tissue. During an episode of ReA, the pathogens can then travel to other tissues, such as the tendons. This can lead to a variety of musculoskeletal manifestations, including arthritis, enthesitis, sacroiliitis, abrasions, and abrasion-like lesions.
Although there is currently no consensus on the criteria for defining ReA, it is believed that ReA is a clinically-defined triad. The classic Reiter’s syndrome consists of the urethra, conjunctiva, and synovium. Occasionally, other organs, such as the kidney, liver, or lungs, can be affected. In a majority of cases, the triad is accompanied by other manifestations, such as enthesitis and polyarthritis.
Reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints and is often associated with inflammation of the mucous membranes. Affected individuals may also experience fever, fatigue and other symptoms. The condition usually occurs within one to four weeks after exposure to infection. It can be treated by taking drugs that suppress the immune system. In rare cases, the condition can last for years.
Reactive arthritis is most common in young men, but it can occur in older people and children as well. The condition can result from a genital, urinary, throat, or intestinal infection. It is usually contracted through sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In some cases, it can be triggered by a bacterial or viral infection. Some of the diseases that cause it to include Clostridia difficile, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia. A person can be diagnosed by symptoms and laboratory tests. In addition, genetic testing can be used to rule out other forms of arthritis.
The primary symptom of reactive arthritis is swelling in the joints. In addition, patients can develop peripheral nervous system and heart symptoms. If the inflammation is severe, it can lead to cardiac conduction abnormalities and aortitis with aortic regurgitation. The condition is not typically fatal, but if left untreated, it can cause scarring and loss of vision.
The disease is sometimes accompanied by uveitis or inflammation of the eyes. It is a very serious disease that needs to be treated promptly. In some cases, it can be treated with antibiotics or direct injections into the eye tissues. Depending on the extent of the infection, a rheumatologist or ophthalmologist may be needed to treat the patient.
In order to diagnose the condition, doctors will do a physical examination to look for signs of joint pain. In addition, they may perform X-rays to check for sacroiliitis. They may also swab the cervix or urine to culture the causative organisms. They may also collect stool samples to determine whether the infection is due to a bacteria or virus.
In some cases, a person’s immune system responds to an infection by creating inflammation of the joints. In this case, a doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid medication, which can help to control the inflammation. Other medications that may be prescribed are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Some of these medications are also prescribed to control stomach upsets. In more severe cases, medications that suppress the immune system may be given.
The disease is not usually fatal, but it can cause damage to the eyes and other organs. Besides seeking immediate medical attention, patients with the condition should be aware of their changes and report them to their healthcare team. They should also be proactive in learning more about their conditions and helping their physicians and physiotherapists to treat the condition.
Reactive arthritis (also known as Reiter’s syndrome) is a type of arthritis that is characterized by an inflammatory response to bacteria or other infectious agents that invade a particular part of the body. It most often affects men in their 20s and 40s, but it can occur in women as well. Although it can be quite painful, it usually heals within a few months. A doctor may diagnose it if the patient is experiencing symptoms such as pain, swelling, or redness in a particular joint or area of the body.
Reactive arthritis is not contagious, but the infectious agent that causes it is. This infection is usually caused by bacteria, such as Chlamydia trachomatis. However, there are other causes as well, such as genitourinary infections. If you think you have reactive arthritis, your doctor can run tests to rule out these other conditions.
Several types of antibiotics can be used to treat this infection. Doxycycline may be helpful, especially if the infection is due to a bacterial infection. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also help to ease the pain of the condition. Other medicines to consider include ibuprofen, naproxen, and etanercept. In more severe cases, corticosteroids can be given to reduce inflammation.
The most common joints affected by reactive arthritis are the feet, knees, ankles, sacroiliac joints, and spine. Inflammation may also affect the eyes and prostate gland. In some patients, the urethra can become inflamed, and a fluid discharge can be seen when the person urinates.
Reactive arthritis may be accompanied by conjunctivitis or inflammation of the membranes that line the eyelids. If this is the case, the eyes will appear red and may swell. Symptoms of the disease, like those of other forms of arthritis, can last from a few weeks to a year. The condition is generally reversible, but it can cause eye damage if not treated. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
If the reactive arthritis is the result of an infection, your doctor will perform a urine test. The test will be done to identify a particular bacterial infection that is causing the inflammatory reaction. Alternatively, your doctor might swab your throat or cervix. You may also be sent for arthrocentesis, a procedure in which the joint fluid is collected. The resulting fluid can be cultured to detect specific causative organisms.
You might need to have a physical therapist or dermatologist evaluate your body for reactive arthritis. If you have other symptoms, such as a fever or headache, you should be able to see a general practitioner. You should write down any questions you have, and remember to bring someone with you when you go to the doctor. You might be asked to bring a written note about the new diagnosis if one is needed.