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Overview of Seronegative Spondyloarthropathies

(Seronegative Spondyloarthritides)

By Apostolos Kontzias, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director, Autoinflammatory Clinic, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

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Seronegative spondyloarthropathies (seronegative spondyloarthritides) share certain clinical characteristics (eg, back pain, uveitis, GI symptoms, rashes). Some are strongly associated with the HLA-B27 allele. Clinical and genetic similarities suggest that they also share similar causes or pathophysiologies. Rheumatoid factor (RF) is usually negative in the spondyloarthropathies (hence, why they are called seronegative spondyloarthropathies). They include ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and other disorders.

Spondyloarthropathy can develop in association with GI conditions (sometimes called enteropathic arthritis) such as inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal bypass surgery, or Whipple disease.

Juvenile-onset spondyloarthropathy is an asymmetric, mostly lower extremity spondyloarthropathy that begins most commonly in boys aged 7 to 16.

Spondyloarthropathy can also develop in people without characteristics of other specific spondyloarthropathy (undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy). Treatment of the arthritis of these other spondyloarthropathies is similar to the treatment of reactive arthritis.