The joint-gut axis in inflammatory bowel diseases

J Crohns Colitis. 2010 Sep;4(3):257-68. doi: 10.1016/j.crohns.2009.11.005. Epub 2009 Nov 30.


Inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, are associated with a variety of extraintestinal manifestations. The most common extraintestinal manifestation, articular involvement, occurs in 16% to 33% of inflammatory bowel disease patients. These arthropathies may increase morbidity, resulting in a worse quality of life compared with inflammatory bowel disease patients without arthropathies. Thus, arthropathies in inflammatory bowel diseases represent a major medical problem in these patients. Arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel diseases is one of the diseases captured under the umbrella of spondyloarthritis. Spondyloarthritis is a group of inflammatory diseases with overlapping features and is linked to Human Leukocyte Antigen-B27. Arthropathy in inflammatory bowel diseases is clinically divided into peripheral and axial involvement. Peripheral arthritis often flares with relapses of bowel disease resulting in a different treatment approach than axial arthritis in which the course is independent of inflammatory bowel disease activity. Definitions, prevalence, pathophysiology and treatment of the arthropathies commonly seen in inflammatory bowel diseases such as peripheral arthritis, dactylitis, enthesitis, arthralgia, sacroiliitis, inflammatory back pain and ankylosing spondylitis are summarized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthralgia / complications*
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy
  • Arthralgia / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Spondylarthropathies / complications*
  • Spondylarthropathies / drug therapy
  • Spondylarthropathies / immunology