Phenotypic diversity is not determined by independent genetic factors in familial spondylarthropathy

Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Dec;45(6):478-84. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200112)45:6<478::aid-art372>;2-i.


Objective: To analyze the segregation of manifestations belonging to the spectrum of spondylarthropathy (SpA) among patients and unaffected siblings within SpA multiplex families.

Methods: Ninety-five multiplex families have been investigated. The diagnosis of SpA was made according to European Spondylarthropathy Study Group criteria. The prevalence of SpA manifestations was determined in unaffected siblings and compared with their prevalence in patients.

Results: We compared 241 SpA patients with 259 unaffected siblings. The prevalence of skeletal and extraarticular features not used as diagnostic criteria, i.e., radiographic sacroiliitis, peripheral enthesitis, uveitis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease, was significantly increased in patients compared with unaffected siblings. This result was not accounted for by sex or HLA-B27 distribution differences.

Conclusion: In familial SpA, skeletal and extraarticular manifestations tend to segregate together, implying that all subsets are predominantly determined by a shared component, and that accessory factors must be responsible for phenotype diversity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • HLA-B7 Antigen / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Prevalence
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology
  • Psoriasis / genetics
  • Radiography
  • Sex Factors
  • Spondylarthropathies / blood
  • Spondylarthropathies / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylarthropathies / genetics*


  • HLA-B7 Antigen