Inflammatory bowel disease associated arthropathy

Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2011 Sep;4(3):123-31. doi: 10.1007/s12178-011-9085-8.


Arthritis is the most common extraintestinal manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and can have a significant impact on morbidity and quality of life. IBD-associated arthropathy is considered a subtype of seronegative spondyloarthropathy, with axial, peripheral, or a combination of both joint manifestations. Peripheral arthritis is generally non-erosive and the oligoarticular variant particularly may correlate with intestinal disease activity. Axial arthritis may include inflammatory back pain, sacroiliitis, or ankylosing spondylitis, and is less likely to correlate with gastrointestinal symptoms. While there have been advances in identifying predisposing genetic factors and in elucidating pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease, the mechanisms surrounding the development of arthritis in IBD remain unclear. Treatment of inflammatory bowel disease is not always sufficient for control of arthritis. While treatment with biologic agents is promising, there remains a great need for larger, randomized studies to address optimal therapy of IBD associated arthropathy.