Approximately 20% of patients with ulcerative colitis and 5% of patients with regional enteritis develop an associated arthritis. The clinical manifestations of joint disease in the two disorders seem to be identical.1
There are two major clinical patterns. The first of these, occurring in about 60% of the total number with arthritis, is an acute migratory inflammatory polyarthritis, usually of abrupt onset, involving the larger joints of the extremities (ordinarily only a few in a given attack) and resolving in a period of weeks or at the longest three months. Complete recovery is the rule; occasionally residual joint damage is seen after multiple attacks. The arthritis usually follows but sometimes appears simultaneously with the onset of the colitis or enteritis. Exacerbations of the underlying disorder and of the arthritis often parallel one another. The pathogenesis of this joint complication is not known. The arthritis is distinguishable from rheumatoid arthritis
Section 21.—Arthritis Associated With Inflammatory Intestinal Disease. JAMA. 1973;224(Suppl_5):735. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220190075024
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