Bowel inflammation and the spondyloarthropathies

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1998 Nov;24(4):785-813, ix-x. doi: 10.1016/s0889-857x(05)70042-9.


The concept of spondyloarthropathies gathers together a group of chronic diseases in which not only the locomotor system is involved but also other organs, especially the gastrointestinal tract. In humans, ileocolonoscopic studies demonstrated the presence of inflammatory gut lesions in all the diseases in the spondyloarthropathy group; their presence varied in the different diseases between 20% and 70%. The inflammation could be related to specific disease features in the spondyloarthropathies. Further research supports the hypothesis of subclinical inflammatory bowel disease in some patients with spondyloarthropathy, in which the locomotor inflammation was the only clinical manifestation. The link between gut inflammation and arthropathy has also been demonstrated in animal models, notably the human leukocyte antigen B27 transgenic rats. The temporal relationship between activity and severity of colonic involvement and flares of peripheral arthritis directs treatment of choice. For all forms of enterogenic arthropathies, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs remain the acute treatment form. Caution is in order, however, because of their possible harmful effects on intestinal integrity, permeability, and even on gut inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis / diagnosis
  • Arthritis / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / diagnosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Joint Diseases / diagnosis
  • Joint Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Spinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Spinal Diseases / epidemiology*