Understanding Spondyloarthropathies: A Comprehensive Overview

Author(s): Hong Yang

Spondyloarthropathies (SpA) constitute a group of inflammatory rheumatic diseases characterized by their predominant involvement of the axial skeleton, peripheral joints, and extra-articular structures. This comprehensive overview delves into the distinct clinical presentations of major SpA subtypes, including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, enteropathic arthritis, and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis. The pathogenesis involves a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors, with a strong association with the HLA-B27 gene. Diagnosis poses challenges due to the heterogeneous nature of these conditions, requiring a multifaceted approach combining medical history, physical examination, imaging studies, and laboratory tests. The management of SpA aims at symptom relief, inflammation control, and improved quality of life, utilizing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and biologic agents. Physical therapy and exercise play crucial roles, with surgical interventions considered in severe cases. This overview emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of SpA management, involving rheumatologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, and other specialists. Ongoing research promises deeper insights into the genetic and immunological basis of SpA, paving the way for personalized and precise treatments.