Background While spondyloarthritis (SpA) is intensively studied in the Western world, data are scarce in sub-Saharan Africa.
Objectives To determine the spectrum of SpA in outpatients with rheumatological complaints attending two rheumatology practices in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study over six months (December 1st, 2012 till May 31th, 2013) in consecutive patients attending the two rheumatology practices of Kinshasa; diagnosis was based on Amor or the ESSG criteria, and a clinical evaluation by a rheumatologist. Sacroiliac joint radiographic lesions were scored with the modified New York criteria. BASDAI and BASFI were evaluated in axial SpA.
Results One hundred five patients (10.7%) were diagnosed among 984 rheumatologic outpatients with a sex ratio (male to female) of 1.4. The average age at the onset of the disease was 41.3±12.4 years. Non-radiographical axial spondyloarthritis was the most frequent subtype (4.98%) followed by reactive arthritis (4.27%). Other subtypes were: ankylosing spondylitis (1.02%), psoriatic arthritis (0.1%), SAPHO syndrome (0.1%) and IBD associated arthritis (0.1%). Mean BASDAI and BASFI in axial SpA were 42.7/100 and 46.4/100 respectively. Peripheral enthesitis was found in 43% of SpA patients and uveitis (10.4%) was the most frequent extra-articular manifestation. We did not detect any family history. Median erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C reactive protein were 37 (range: 7–110) mm/h and 22 (range: 4–48) mg/l respectively.
Conclusions This hospital-based study suggests a substantial occurrence of some subtypes of SpA in central Africa. A population-based study is needed.
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Stolwijk C, van Onna M, Boonen A, van Tubergen A. Global Prevalence of Spondyloarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression Analysis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2015 Dec 29.
Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Dr Thierry Lusiense for helping with acquisition of data from the Rheumatology unit at Provincial General Hospital Kinshasa.
Disclosure of Interest None declared