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Overview of Seronegative Spondyloarthropathies

(Seronegative Spondyloarthritides)

by Roy D. Altman, MD

Seronegative spondyloarthropathies 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 ( Anklyosing Spondylitis), reactive arthritis ( Reactive Arthritis), psoriatic 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 that of treatment of reactive arthritis (see Reactive Arthritis).

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