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February 1977

Ankylosing Spondylitis and Reiter Syndrome

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(2):237. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640020109030

To the Editor.—  Reiter syndrome classically consists of the triad of urethritis, arthritis, and conjunctivitis. Another commonly associated clinical feature is ankylosing spondylitis.It is well established that HLA-B27 is found in about 90% of patients with ankylosing spondylitis1,2 and patients with Reiter syndrome.3,4 Indeed, some investigators believe that the similarity of frequencies of HLA-B27 in these diseases provides evidence of a common pathogenetic mechanism.3Calin and Kries recently reported that 14 of 78 (18%) HLA-B27-positive "normal" blood donors definitely had ankylosing spondylitis as determined by mailed questionnaires and pelvic radiometry.5 Morris et al3 found roentgenographic evidence of ankylosing spondylitis in 6 of 24 (25%) patients with Reiter syndrome.3These data suggest that ankylosing spondylitis is not causally related to Reiter's syndrome. A common pathophysiologic mechanism should yield a much higher percentage of patients with ankylosing spondylitis among HLA-B27-positive Reiter syndrome patients than HLA-B27-positive