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Reiterís syndrome

Reiterís syndrome: Introduction

Reiter's syndrome is a rare type of arthritis that causes inflammation of the urinary tract, eyes, skin, mucus membranes, and joints. Reiter's syndrome, also called reactive arthritis, is believed to occur as a reaction to certain infections of the reproductive system and the digestive system.

Infections that can lead to the complication of Reiter's syndrome include a common sexually transmitted disease called chlamydia. This is the most common cause of Reiter's syndrome. A less common cause of Reiter's syndrome is food poisoning due to Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia or Campylobacter infection. Why some people develop Reiter's syndrome in reaction to these infections and other people don't is not known, but having a certain genetic factor called HLA-B27 increases a person's chance of developing Reiter's syndrome.

Hallmark symptoms of Reiter's syndrome affect the urinary tract, eyes, skin, mucus membranes, and joints. Complications include the development of chronic arthritis. For details about additional important complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of Reiter's syndrome.

Making a diagnosis of Reiter's syndrome begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms and history of Chlamydia infection or food poisoning, and completing a physical examination. A referral is generally made to a rheumatologist for definitive diagnosis and treatment. There is no specific test that can diagnose Reiter's syndrome. Diagnosis is made by evaluating the symptoms and interpreting them in conjunction with tests that rule out other diseases and conditions and/or increase the suspicion of a diagnosis of Reiter's syndrome.

For example, a blood rheumatoid factor (RF) test will generally be positive in rheumatoid arthritis, which has some similar symptoms, but generally negative in Reiter's syndrome. Other tests may include a C-reactive protein or erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which indicate an inflammatory process occurring somewhere in the body. A chlamydia test can diagnose the presence of a chlamydia infection, one of the infections that can lead to Reiter's syndrome. A test may also be run to check for the genetic factor HLA-B27, which increases the risk of developing Reiter's syndrome. X-rays may show some changes that are characteristic of Reiter's syndrome and may rule-out some other possible causes of symptoms.

It is possible that a diagnosis of Reiter's syndrome can be missed or delayed because symptoms can vary amongst individuals and can come and go. In addition, some symptoms may be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions. For more information on diseases and conditions that can mimic Reiter's syndrome, refer to misdiagnosis of Reiter's syndrome.

Treatment for Reiter's syndrome varies depending on the underlying infection, the severity of symptoms, the presence of complications, a person's age and medical history, and other factors. Reiter's syndrome cannot be cured, but treatment can help to reduce symptoms until the disorder resolves spontaneously on its own. Most people with Reiter's syndrome have a good long-term prognosis and symptoms disappear within about a year. For details on treatments, refer to treatment of Reiter's syndrome. ...more »

Reiterís syndrome: Reiterís syndrome is a disorder that causes three seemingly unrelated symptoms: arthritis, redness of the eyes, and urinary tract signs. Doctors ... more about Reiterís syndrome.

Reiterís syndrome: A form of reactive arthritis characterized by arthritis, urethritis, conjunctivitis and skin lesions. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Reiterís syndrome is available below.

Reiterís syndrome: Symptoms

The types and severity of symptoms of Reiter's syndrome vary between individuals. Symptoms of Reiter's syndrome are due to inflammation that can affect the urinary tract, genitals, reproductive system, eyes, skin, mucus membranes, as well as the muscles and joints. However, not all people will have all symptoms, and all symptoms may not occur together at the same time. Symptoms ...more symptoms »

Reiterís syndrome: Treatments

Treatment of Reiter's syndrome varies depending on the type of symptoms, the severity, and other factors. Treatment includes a multifaceted plan that addresses the symptoms and treats any underlying infection, such as chlamydia.

Reiter's syndrome cannot be cured, but treatment can minimize symptoms until the disorder resolves spontaneously on its own. Most ...more treatments »

Reiterís syndrome: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of Reiter's syndrome may be delayed or missed because symptoms vary between individuals in nature and severity. Symptoms may also come and go. Symptoms of Reiter's syndrome can be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as osteoarthritis, sexually transmitted diseases, aging, excessive exercise, cystitis, conjunctivitis, urinary tract infection, and ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Reiterís syndrome

Treatments for Reiterís syndrome

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Wrongly Diagnosed with Reiterís syndrome?

Types of Reiterís syndrome

  • Urogenital Reiterís syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal Reiterís syndrome
  • Dysenteric Reiterís syndrome
  • more types...»

Diagnostic Tests for Reiterís syndrome

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Reiterís syndrome: Complications

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Causes of Reiterís syndrome

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Reiterís syndrome: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Reiterís syndrome

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the conditions which may be more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to more »

Interstitial cystitis an under-diagnosed bladder condition: The medical condition of interstitial cystitic is a bladder condition that can be misdiagnosed as various conditions such as overactive bladder or other causes of more »

Psoriatic arthritis often undiagnosed cause of joint conditions: Patients with the skin condition psoriasis can also have the related arthritis subtype called "psoriatic arthritis". This arthritic condition tends to be overlooked, more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is more »

Reiterís syndrome: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Hospitals & Clinics: Reiterís syndrome

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Reiterís syndrome: Rare Types

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Reiterís syndrome: Animations

Prognosis for Reiterís syndrome

Prognosis for Reiterís syndrome: Most people with Reiterís syndrome recover fully from the initial flare of symptoms and are able to return to regular activities within 2 to 6 months after the first symptoms appear. Arthritis may last up to 6 months, although the symptoms are usually very mild and do not interfere with daily activities. Only 20 percent of people with Reiterís syndrome will have chronic arthritis, which is usually mild. Some patients experience symptom recurrence. Studies show that about 15 to 50 percent of patients will develop symptoms sometime after the initial flare has disappeared. Back pain and arthritis are the symptoms that most commonly reappear. A small percentage of patients will have deforming arthritis and severe symptoms that are difficult to control with treatment. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Reiter's Syndrome: NIAMS)

Research about Reiterís syndrome

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Reiterís syndrome: Broader Related Topics

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Article Excerpts about Reiterís syndrome

Reiterís syndrome is a disorder that causes three seemingly unrelated symptoms: arthritis, redness of the eyes, and urinary tract signs. Doctors sometimes refer to Reiterís syndrome as a seronegative spondyloarthropathy because it is one of a group of disorders that cause inflammation throughout the body, particularly in parts of the spine and at other joints where tendons attach to bones. (Examples of other seronegative spondyloarthropathies include psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and inflammatory bowel syndrome arthritis.) Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of tissues to injury or disease and is marked by four signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Reiter's Syndrome: NIAMS)

Definitions of Reiterís syndrome:

A triad of nongonococcal urethritis followed by conjunctivitis and arthritis, of unknown etiology. - (Source - Diseases Database)

Reiterís syndrome is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Reiterís syndrome, or a subtype of Reiterís syndrome, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)


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