Reactive Arthritis

Reactive Arthritis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Syndrome classically includes triad of conjunctivitis, urethritis, arthritis
  • Also known as “Reiter's syndrome,” although the eponym has fallen out of favor:
    • Typically taught as the syndrome of “can't see, can't pee, can't climb a tree”


  • Exact incidence difficult to determine because of lack of standardized diagnostic criteria
  • 2 main types:
    • Postdysentery:
      • Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Clostridium difficile
    • Venereal:
      • Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Also described after upper respiratory infections, UTIs, BCG treatment for bladder carcinoma
  • M > F (∼5:1)
  • Peak onset during 3rd decade

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