Reiters Syndrome

Skin sores on soles of feet due to Reiters Syndrome

Reiters syndrome (reactive arthritis) is an inflammatory condition involving the eyes, urethra and joints. The cause is unknown, but it is more common in young men. It often follows a bacterial infection. There is some evidence that it may be caused by a Chlamydial infection.

It has the unusual and apparently unconnected symptoms of conjunctivitis (eye inflammation), urethritis (inflammation of the urine tube) and arthritis (joint inflammation).

Other symptoms that may occur include mouth ulcers, skin sores, inflammation of the foreskin of the penis, inflammation of the cervix in women and a fever. Rarely, the heart becomes inflamed.

Blood tests are not diagnostic, but indicate presence of inflammation. X-rays may show arthritis in the joints of the back but only after several attacks.

It heals without treatment after a few days or weeks. The arthritis tends to last longer. Recurrences of Reiters syndrome are common. The disease course can be shortened by anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacin.

(Last modified: 17th Oct 2014)

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