Dactylitis: pathogenesis and clinical considerations

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2006 Oct;8(5):338-41. doi: 10.1007/s11926-006-0062-y.


Dactylitis is considered a hallmark feature of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), but it is found in other spondyloarthropathies, especially reactive arthritis, and other conditions (eg, sarcoidosis, gout, sickle cell disease, and a variety of infections). Dactylitis is difficult to define and assess with any level of consensus and consistency in PsA. A new objective measure has been developed to make assessment more uniform for clinical trials. The underlying pathophysiology has also been difficult to determine in spondyloarthropathy: synovitis, tenosynovitis, and enthesitis have all been recognized. The pathophysiology in other conditions varies but usually involves soft tissue and sometimes involves bone or joint. In non-spondyloarthropathies,treatment is determined by the underlying cause. Research on dactylitis treatment in PsA suffers from a paucity of trials and inconsistent outcome measurement. The only drug with good evidence of benefit from randomized controlled trials thus far is infliximab.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / etiology*
  • Biological Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Finger Joint*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Biological Factors
  • Glucocorticoids