Ann Rheum Dis 61:580-587 doi:10.1136/ard.61.7.580
  • Review

Reactive arthritis or chronic infectious arthritis?

  1. J Sibilia,
  2. F-X Limbach
  1. Rheumatology Department, University Hospital of Strasbourg, France
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor J Sibilia, Service de Rhumatologie, Hôpital de Hautepierre, 1 avenue Moliére, 67098 Strasbourg, Cedex, France;
  • Accepted 4 March 2002


Microbes reach the synovial cavity either directly during bacteraemia or by transport within lymphoid cells or monocytes. This may stimulate the immune system excessively, triggering arthritis. Some forms of ReA correspond to slow infectious arthritis due to the persistence of microbes and some to an infection triggered arthritis linked to an extra-articular site of infection.