Reiter syndrome

Reactive arthritis

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Reactive arthritis is a type of infectious arthritis that occurs as a ÒreactionÓ to an infection elsewhere in the body. This process may occur weeks or even months after the infection has resolved.  In addition to joint inflammation, reactive arthritis is associated with two other symptoms: redness and inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) and inflammation of the urinary tract (urethritis). These symptoms may occur alone, together, or not at all. The symptoms of reactive arthritis usually last 3 to 12 months, although symptoms can return or develop into a long-term disease in a small percentage of people.  The exact cause of reactive arthritis is unknown. It may follow an infection with Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella typhimurium, Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter jejuni, Clostridium difficile, Shigella sonnei, Entamoeba histolytica, Cryptosporidium, or Chlamydia trachomatis. Certain genes may make you more prone to the syndrome.  For instance, the condition is observed more commonly in patients with human lymphocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27) histocompatibility antigens.  The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and treat any underlying infection. Antibiotics may be prescribed. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), pain relievers, and corticosteroids may be recommended for those with joint pain.  Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.

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