Rheumatological manifestations in inflammatory bowel disease

Authors Paraskevi V Voulgari.


Rheumatological manifestations in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are frequent and include peripheral arthritis, axial involvement and peripheral enthesitis. Secondary osteoporosis and hypertrophic osteorthropathy may also occur. Complications of IBD (eg. septic arthritis) must be distinguished from sterile inflammation. Adverse effects of corticosteroid treatment may also affect joint such as osteonecrosis. Axial involvement ranges from low back pain to true ankylosing spondylitis. Human leukocyte antigen B27 is associated with axial involvement of IBD. Peripheral arthritis has been classified in two types. Types I is a pauciarticular, asymmetric usually non destructive arthritis affecting large joints and it is usually associated with active bowel disease. Type II is a polyarthritis affecting small joints and tends to run a course independent of the bowel disease. Treatment of joint symptoms in IBD include sulphasalazine, azathioprine, methotrexate and glucocorticoids. Anti-tumor necrosis factor antibodies are effective in treating resistant or complicated Crohn's disease as well as peripheral arthritis and axial involvement.
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