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Overview of the clinical manifestations and classification of spondyloarthritis

Authors
David T Yu, MD
Astrid van Tubergen, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Joachim Sieper, MD
Deputy Editor
Paul L Romain, MD

INTRODUCTION

The term spondyloarthritis (SpA) is used for a family of disorders, including ankylosing spondylitis (AS), non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA), forms of arthritis associated with psoriasis and with inflammatory bowel diseases, and other conditions. The different forms of SpA share a group of clinical features; the most distinguishing features are inflammation of axial joints (especially the sacroiliac [SI] joints), asymmetric oligoarthritis (especially of the lower extremities), dactylitis (sausage digits), and enthesitis (inflammation at sites of ligamentous or tendon attachment to bone).

Additional features include skin and genital lesions, eye and bowel inflammation, an association with preceding or ongoing infectious disorders, positive family history, elevated acute phase reactants, and a strong association with the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27 [1]. Other terms that have been used for this family of arthritis are spondyloarthritides, spondyloarthropathy, and spondyloarthropathies.

An overview of the clinical manifestations and the classification of SpA in adults will be presented here. The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of AS and nr-axSpA, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis (formerly called Reiter’s syndrome), and SpA in children are discussed separately, as is an overview of peripheral SpA. (See "Clinical manifestations of ankylosing spondylitis in adults" and "Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in adults" and "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis" and "Spondyloarthropathy in children" and "Reactive arthritis" and "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of peripheral spondyloarthritis in adults".)

FORMS OF SPONDYLOARTHRITIS

The spondyloarthritis (SpA) family consists of the following members, which can be classified further according to the distribution of joint involvement as being predominantly axial (axial SpA) or peripheral (peripheral SpA):

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) (see "Clinical manifestations of ankylosing spondylitis in adults")

                     

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Tue Mar 22 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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