Objective: To investigate whether recent human parvovirus B19 (B19) infection provokes inflammatory arthritis, we assessed the outcome of 54 patients with recent B19 infection who were referred to the Department of Rheumatology.
Methods: Consecutive patients referred between 1985 and 1995 and found to have a recent B19 infection were studied retrospectively by sending a questionnaire and, if necessary, by physical examination.
Results: In the acute phase of B19 infection, all patients had arthralgia and many also complained of myalgia and malaise. Arthritis was found in 61% of the patients, skin rash in 72% and fever in 64%. Except for the arthralgia and malaise, most of the symptoms resolved rapidly. After a mean followup of 5 years (SD 2.9 yrs.) none of the patients reported persistence of joint swelling or restricted motion.
Conclusion: None of the 54 patients with recent B19 infection developed chronic arthritis.