Clin Exp Rheumatol 2018 Jan-Feb;36(1):1-14. Epub 2018 Feb 5.
GenOMeC PhD, University of Siena; and Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy.
The term spondyloarthritis (SpA) represents a condition characterised by a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, laboratory abnormalities and imaging features; in particular, SpA is an inflammatory condition in which both peripheral and axial joints might be affected. The majority of people with this disease have either psoriatic arthritis or axial spondyloarthritis, which includes ankylosing spondylitis. Less common subgroups are enteropathic SpA, which is associated with inﬂammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), reactive arthritis, which can occur in people following gastrointestinal or genitourinary infections and undifferentiated SpA, that does not meet the diagnostic criteria of the other subgroups at onset, but that may evolve to do so later. Very interestingly, much of the emerging data show how SpA, during its course, tends to associate with the development of some comorbidities; in particular, with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis and depressive disorders. Healthcare professionals in non-specialist settings do not always recognise the signs and symptoms of SpA, particularly spinal symptoms, which may be mistakenly attributed to other causes of low back pain, thus leading to significant delays in diagnosis and treatment of the disease itself and of its related comorbidities, with consequent disease progression and disability, compromising the health-related quality of life of patients. In this paper we reviewed the literature of the past year (Medline search of articles published from 1st March 2016 to 28th February 2017) with the aim of approaching the spectrum of SpA from some different points of view, to try to give the reader an insight into this clinically challenging group of rheumatic pathologies.
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