Reiter’s syndrome

Reiter's syndrome

What is it?

Reiter's syndrome — a combined joint disease (arthritis), urinary tract (urethritis, prostatitis) and conjunctiva (conjunctivitis). It occursbecause of autoimmune process as a result of urogenital or intestinal infection.


The cause of Reiter's syndrome are viral and bacterial infections, and genetic features of the human immune system (an abnormal reaction to the introduction of a specific pathogen). This syndrome was first described as a complication of intestinal infection. It is now known that it is the main cause of chlamydia. Sometimes happens that a clear link between Reiter's syndrome and infection can not be established.

What's going on?

The incubation period for Reiter's syndrome is 1-2 week. The disease begins with inflammation of the urethra (urethritis), which is manifested by painful urination. Sometimes urethritis runs hidden, without discomfort and is seen only in the changes of urine in a laboratory study.

Shortly after the defeat of urethritis occurs eye in the form of conjunctivitis (rarely — inflammation of the iris, eyelids, retina and other parts of the eye).

Through 1-2 weeks, and sometimes months later, there is a pain in the large joints (commonly involved joints of the feet), the skin over it becomes hot to the touch. Gradually, joint pain worse, it appears swelling. Then affects other joints (often asymmetrical). Characteristic "ladder" (bottom-up) consistent involvement of the joints at intervals of several days.

In30-50% Of patients develop skin lesions of the penis and the mucous membranes of the mouth with the formation of ulcers. There may be red spots on the skin of the whole body. Sometimes involved in the disease the heart, lungs, kidneys, nervous system


If you suspect asyndrome Reiter urgently go to the doctor. This may be a specialist rheumatologist or infectious diseases. The preliminary diagnosis is made after examination of the patient: a combination of inflammation of the joints, inflammation of the urogenital system andeye— The main criterion.

In the clinical analysis of blood in patients identify common symptoms of inflammation. In the diagnosis of Reiter's syndrome have a high value immunological blood tests. In the blood found chlamydial antibody.

Also identify the infectious agent in the material taken from the urethra, the mucous membrane eye or joint. The best way to identify — DNA diagnostics by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).


Treatment is carried out in two directions. The first — the fight against infection, for which antibiotics are prescribed to the patient. The second — the suppression of inflammation. For this purpose, use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cytostatic agents, glucocorticoids. Even with the right approach recovery usually occurs no earlier than four to six months.

Syndrome Reiter has often long for, respond poorly to treatment. In 50% of cases are reported repeats, and 25% — the disease becomes chronic.

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