As a rule gonorrhea is a local disease, but in a small percentage of cases the germ or its toxins escape through the circulation and the lymphatics, and a systemic condition ensues. Metastatic gonorrheal inflammation attacks, among many other structures, the joints in perhaps 2 or 3 per cent, of all cases of systemic infection. The condition is sometimes due to the invasion of the joints by the gonococcus alone, sometimes to a so-called mixed infection with pyogenic bacteria or their products.
Gonorrheal arthritis is more common in men than in women, the latter seeming to be almost immune to this complication, which is supposed to be due to the fact that the vagina and not the urethra is the usual seat of gonorrhea in the female. This, however, is only a supposition. We find the initial infection at least as often in the female urethra as in the vagina.
KREISSL F. THE RELATION OF CHRONIC GONORRHEA AND OTHER INFECTIONS IN THE URINARY TRACT TO JOINT DISEASE. JAMA. 1912;LVIII(19):1421–1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260050097004
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: