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Enteropathic Arthropathies Treatment & Management

  • Author: Pierre Minerva, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
 
Updated: Dec 30, 2014
 

Approach Considerations

Treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including surgery, should always be the initial strategy to induce remission of peripheral arthritis.

Although nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually recommended as first-line therapy for spondyloarthropathies, in patients with IBD, these agents may exacerbate GI symptoms.[7] Selection of more cyclooxygenase (COX)-selective NSAIDs may reduce the risk of bowel flares.[8, 9] Corticosteroids may be used systemically or by local injection.

Sulfasalazine (2-3g/day) has been shown to be effective for treatment of the peripheral arthropathy associated with IBD, but not axial disease.[10] While methotrexate can be useful to treat bowel activity in Crohn disease (CD), its effect on joint disease with IBD is less certain.

Although not specifically indicated for an enteropathic arthropathy, the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists infliximab and adalimumab are indicated to treat ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and IBD, and may be effective for IBD spondyloarthropathy (including axial involvement).[11, 12] Etanercept and golimumab are indicated to treat AS, but neither has been shown to be helpful with bowel disease, and there have been reports of new-onset IBD with these 2 agents.[13]

Whipple disease is treated with long-term tetracycline antibiotics. Celiac disease is treated with a gluten-free diet, although response is not always complete.

Surgical care

Total colectomy or removal of affected colon induces remission of the peripheral arthritis in ulcerative colitis (UC), but not in CD. Surgery provides no benefit for axial involvement in IBD.

Consultations

Consultations with the following specialists can be beneficial:

  • Gastroenterologist
  • Rheumatologist
  • Ophthalmologist

Diet

A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease.

Activity

Order physical therapy to maintain flexibility, range of motion, and upright posture, especially with axial involvement. Patients must be counseled to continue exercises at home.

Follow-up

Arrange follow-up care with a rheumatologist and gastroenterologist.

 
 
Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Pierre Minerva, MD Consulting Staff, Department of Rheumatology, Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Association; Consulting Staff, Department of Rheumatology, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Lankenau Hospital, Paoli Hospital

Pierre Minerva, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Herbert S Diamond, MD Visiting Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center; Chairman Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine, Western Pennsylvania Hospital

Herbert S Diamond, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Physicians, American College of Rheumatology, American Medical Association, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

Lawrence H Brent, MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University; Chair, Program Director, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Albert Einstein Medical Center

Lawrence H Brent, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Association of Immunologists, American College of Physicians, and American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Abbott Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Centocor Consulting fee Consulting; Genentech Grant/research funds Other; HGS/GSK Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Omnicare Consulting fee Consulting; Pfizer Honoraria Speaking and teaching; Roche Speaking and teaching; Savient Honoraria Speaking and teaching; UCB Honoraria Speaking and teaching

Kristine M Lohr, MD, MS Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Center for the Advancement of Women's Health and Division of Rheumatology, Director, Rheumatology Training Program, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Kristine M Lohr, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians and American College of Rheumatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

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