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Reiter’s syndrome

A condition in which there is a combination of reactive arthritis, urethritis, and conjunctivitis. There can also be uveitis. Reiter’s syndrome is more widespread in men than in women.

It is caused by an immune response and generally only develops in people with a genetic predisposition. The majority of patients have the HLA-B27 tissue type. The syndrome’s development is induced by infection: often by nogonococcal urethritis, but occasionally by bacillary dysentery.

Reiter’s syndrome often begins with a urethral discharge, followed by conjunctivitis, then arthritis. The arthritis often affects one or two joints (usually the ankle and/or knee) and is often associated with malaise and fever. Attacks can last for several months. Tendons, tissue, and ligaments in the soles of the feet can also become inflamed. Skin rashes are frequent.

Diagnosis is from the symptom. Analgesic drugs (pain killers) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve pain and inflammation but can have to be taken long term. The urethritis is treated with anti biotics. Relapses arise in about one third of cases.


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