Reactive arthritis associated with Clostridium difficile pseudomembranous colitis

Chaim Putterman, Alan Rubinow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Reactive arthritis is associated with several gastrointestinal pathogens, particularly Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Yersinia. Another, less well recognized bowel infection leading to reactive arthritis is pseudomembranous colitis, caused by Clostridium difficile. An illustrative case is presented, and the clinical features and characteristics of all reported patients with this association are reviewed. The pathogenesis of the reactive arthritis seems to be related to an immunological response in joints and other tissues against bacterial antigens, which gain access to the systemic circulation through increased intestinal permeability. Therapy with nonspecific antiinflammatory drugs, antiolostridial agents, or a combination of the above is effective. Despite the possibility of persistent articular involvement after gastrointestinal symptoms have subsided, the long-term prognosis seems to be excellent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Clostridium difficile
  • Reactive arthritis
  • enteropathic arthropathy
  • pseudomembranous colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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