Spondyloarthropathy as an Old World phenomenon

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1992 Apr;21(5):306-16. doi: 10.1016/0049-0172(92)90024-8.


The presence of spine and sacroiliac involvement and the nature and distribution of erosive lesions allowed definitive diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy in the great apes (Gorilla and Pan [chimpanzee]), the lesser ape (Hylobates), and Old World monkeys (Theropithecus, Papio, Cercopithecus, Macaca, Colobus, Presbytis, and Erythrocebus). Analysis of lesional character, distribution, radiological appearance, and sex ratios showed a picture indistinguishable from human spondyloarthropathy. This contrasts with orangutans (Pongo), who lack reactive bone or sacroiliac involvement. A different pathophysiology, as yet undefined, is implied for their erosive arthritis. Limited individual susceptibility to spondyloarthropathy in humans (1% to 4%), Old World monkeys (2.4%), and lesser apes (2.4%) contrasts with the high frequency of disease in the great apes (20% to 28%). The wide geographic distribution of this phenomenon suggests an African and perhaps Asian "panendemic." This natural disease state provides a unique model for in-depth analysis of the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to disease pathophysiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cercopithecidae
  • Cercopithecus
  • Colobus
  • Female
  • Gorilla gorilla
  • Hylobates
  • Incidence
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Papio
  • Pongo pygmaeus
  • Sex Ratio
  • Spine / pathology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / diagnosis
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / epidemiology*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / pathology