The SAPHO syndrome

Baillieres Clin Rheumatol. 1994 May;8(2):333-62. doi: 10.1016/s0950-3579(94)80022-7.


The occurrence of musculoskeletal manifestations (including synovitis, chest wall arthro-osteitis and multifocal aseptic osteomyelitis) in association with severe acne, palmoplantar pustulosis and perhaps with some presentations of psoriasis, have been described by many authors in the past 30 years. These different multifaceted descriptions have been designated by a variety of terms. More recently, a possible link between these conditions and spondarthritides has also been underlined by a slightly increased prevalence of HLA-B27 and occasional occurrences of sacroiliitis, chronic inflammatory bowel disease and possibly psoriasis. An acronym, the SAPHO syndrome (which stands for Synovitis, Acne, Pustulosis, Hyperostosis and Osteitis) is proposed for this group of diseases because of the similarity of musculoskeletal manifestations in patients with severe acne and pustulosis. The clinical, epidemiological, pathophysiological, immunogenetic and diagnostic aspects, as well as the management of this syndrome, are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hyperostosis / complications*
  • Osteomyelitis / complications*
  • Psoriasis / complications*
  • Syndrome
  • Synovitis / complications*
  • Terminology as Topic