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THE PATTERN of POST COVID-19 REACTIVE ARTHRITIS
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:1688, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2009058
ABSTRACT

Background:

According to the recent medical literature, COVID-19 disease can lead to a constellation of clinical syndromes lasting well beyond the frst 30 days of infection. The most common post COVID sequalae includes pulmonary, nervous system and neurocognitive, mental, metabolic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and several other clinical manifestations. Regarding joint involvement and particularly reactive arthritis (ReA), literature data is limited and describes case reports or series of cases of patients diagnosed with this condition following COVID-19 disease.

Objectives:

To describe the pattern and the management of post-COVID reactive arthritis.

Methods:

We have conducted a descriptive study of consecutive adult patients who presented to rheumatology outpatient clinic for joint or peri-articular pain/swelling/stiffness and received a diagnosis of post-COVID 19 reactive arthritis, by excluding other types of rheumatological conditions. The assessed clinical variables were visual analogue scale (VAS) pain, swollen joint count (SJC), tender joint count (TJC), duration of morning stiffness, presence of enthesitis/tendinitis and axial involvement. Biochemistry and serology was performed rheumatoid factor, ACPA, ANA, HLA B27, antiChlamydia Trachomatis, Ureaplasma Urealyticum and Mycoplasma Hominis Ab, anti HBs and HBc Ab, and anti HCV. COVID-19 disease prior to diagnosis of ReA was confrmed by PCR test.

Results:

In the study were included 16 patients with confrmed post COVID-19 ReA. The mean age of the study group was 43.5±10.8 (range 21-60), the female male ratio was 41 and the duration of joint symptoms was 10.4±11.8 (range 1-42) weeks. The severity of COVID-19 disease was mild in 68.7% cases, moderate in 18.7% and severe in only 6.2% of the cases. The duration between COVID-19 diagnosis and ReA varied between cases, with a mean value of 4.3±4.2 (range 1-12) weeks. In 43.7% of the cases patients had peripheral joint involvement (synovitis), in 37.5%-periarticular involvement (enthesitis), 6.25%-isolate axial involvement (sacroiliac joints), 6.25% enthesitis and axial involvement (cervical spine) and 6.25% synovitis and enthesitis. In patients with peripheral joint pattern, the distribution of pain was symmetric (71.4%). The pattern of synovitis was determined by a TJC of 6.25±5.2 (range 1-16) joints and SJC 1.6±2.4 (range 0-7) joints. Both TJC and SJC correlated positively with the duration of morning stiffness (r=0.9 and r=0.6), but did not correlate with the VAS pain scale. In most of the cases synovitis affected the hand (wrist, MCP and PIP) 62.5% and the knee, feet and ankles-50%. Two patients presented with monoarthritis, 1 with oligoarthritis and 5 with polyarthritis, in the majority of cases, involvement being symmetric (75%). Periarticular pattern was determined by enthesi-tis, affecting the elbow and shoulder (50%), costo-sternal enthesitis (25%) and trochanteritis (25%). From the entire study group, 31.2% had elevated serum infammatory markers (ESR and/or CRP). Patients responded well to NSAIDs alone in 68.7% cases, local (intra-articular or peri-articular infltrations) or and systemic corticoids (5 mg Prednisolone equivalent) were administered in 5.3% and 12.5% cases respectively, in 12.5% cases (two patients) Methotrexate was administered.

Conclusion:

Reactive arthritis represents a post COVID-19 sequelae. The time of onset of ReA varied between 1 and 12 weeks after COVID-19 diagnosis. The clinical pattern of the disease was expressed by joint or periarticular involvement, mainly affecting the hand, feet and knee symmetrically. Cases of axial manifestations were less common. Most of the patients responded well to NSAIDs, only in a few particular cases, low doses of corticoids and/or Methotrexate were recommended.
Keywords

Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: EMBASE Type of study: Prognostic study Topics: Long Covid Language: English Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Year: 2022 Document Type: Article

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Full text: Available Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: EMBASE Type of study: Prognostic study Topics: Long Covid Language: English Journal: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases Year: 2022 Document Type: Article