Alternate Names : Reactive Arthritis
Reiter's syndrome is a condition that causes arthritis in people who are genetically susceptible. It may also affect the eyes and the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the bladder.
What is going on in the body?
Reiter's syndrome refers to a condition in which a person develops acute
arthritis in response to an infection. The affected joints involved
in the arthritis do not contain infection. The immune system causes
inflammation of the joints in response to an infection in a person with Reiter's syndrome. Reiter's syndrome may be seen
following many different infections, including:
sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia infection or HIV
urinary tract infection
intestinal infection, such as
food poisoning known as salmonellosis
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
For unknown reasons, certain people are genetically susceptible to Reiter's
syndrome. Eighty percent of the people with Reiter's syndrome have a gene known
as HLA-B27. These individuals are at risk for Reiter's syndrome following an
infection with certain bacteria or viruses, including:
Reiter's syndrome is most commonly seen in men between the ages of 20 and 40
years. While women can develop the condition, they usually have milder
symptoms than the men do.