Does SAPHO syndrome exist in dermatology?

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2022 Sep;36(9):1501-1506. doi: 10.1111/jdv.18172. Epub 2022 May 12.


In the late 1960s, palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP) with sternocostoclavicular arthropathy was first described in Japan, predominantly affecting women in the perimenopausal age. In the 1970s, the chronic non-bacterial osteomyelitis and chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis were initially observed in paediatric patients with approximately 70% girls. Acne fulminans accompanied by polyarthralgia have been observed since early 1970s, which almost exclusively occurs in adolescent boys. Report on spondyloarthropathy associated with hidradenitis suppurativa can be traced back to 1982. The SAPHO syndrome was coined in 1987 to lump together synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis and osteitis to conceptualize a group of inflammatory osteocutaneous diseases of unclear etiopathogenesis and ill-defined associations spanning disparate age and gender groups. From historical view, Sasaki syndrome is proposed to replace SAPHO syndrome to represent PPP with sternocostoclavicular arthropathy in the absence of other skin manifestations. Hidradenitis suppurativa is folliculitis in pathogenesis and no longer classified as acne. PPP accompanied by psoriasis vulgaris is more likely psoriasis pustulosa palmoplantaris in dermatological aspect, and the associated arthritis is part of psoriatic arthropathy. Pathophysiology of these disorders is incompletely understood. To echo the advancement of high-throughput sequencing, splitting but not lumping of clinical findings would be a better strategy to decipher these multigenic complex inflammatory disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications
  • Acne Vulgaris / pathology
  • Acquired Hyperostosis Syndrome* / classification
  • Acquired Hyperostosis Syndrome* / complications
  • Acquired Hyperostosis Syndrome* / pathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dermatology*
  • Exanthema* / classification
  • Exanthema* / complications
  • Exanthema* / pathology
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / classification
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / complications
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / pathology
  • Humans
  • Osteomyelitis / complications
  • Osteomyelitis / pathology
  • Psoriasis / complications
  • Psoriasis / pathology
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous* / classification
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous* / complications
  • Skin Diseases, Vesiculobullous* / pathology

Supplementary concepts

  • Chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis