Ann Rheum Dis 56:516-520 doi:10.1136/ard.56.9.516
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Long term prognosis of reactive salmonella arthritis


OBJECTIVES Reactive joint complications triggered by salmonella gastroenteritis are increasingly reported, but the outcome and long term prognosis of the patients is incompletely known. This study looked at the prognosis of salmonella arthritis in patients hospitalised in 1970–1986.

METHODS Hospital records from two hospitals in southern Finland were screened for patients with the discharge diagnosis of salmonellosis or reactive, postinfectious arthritis or Reiter’s disease. For the patients with confirmed diagnosis of reactive salmonella arthritis, data about the acute disease were collected from the hospital records. A follow up study was performed.

RESULTS There were 63 patients (28 women, 35 men, mean age 36.5 years) with salmonella arthritis. Urethritis occurred in 27%, eye inflammation in 13%, and low back pain in 44% of the patients. HLA-B27 was present in 88%. More men than women were HLA-B27 positive. HLA-B27 positive patients had higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate (mean 80.9 v 46.5 mm 1st h, p = 0.0180). Also, extra-articular features and radiological sacroiliitis were seen only in HLA-B27 positive patients. A follow up study was performed on 50 patients mean 11.0 (range 5–22 years) later. Twenty patients had recovered completely. Ten patients had mild joint symptoms, 11 patients had had a new acute transient arthritis, and five acute iritis. Eight patients had developed chronic spondyloarthropathy. Radiological sacroiliitis was seen in six of 44 patients, more frequently in male than in female patients (32% v 0%; p = 0.0289). Recurrent or chronic arthritis, iritis or radiological sacroiliitis developed only in HLA-B27 positive patients.

CONCLUSION Joint symptoms are common after reactive salmonella arthritis. HLA-B27 contributes to the severity of acute disease and to the late prognosis.