Case Report| Volume 19, ISSUE 4, 104538, April 2023

Reactive Arthritis


      • Monoarthritis or oligoarthritis in patients in primary and acute care settings may result from several different causes, and their treatments vary.
      • Accurate assessment and management of reactive arthritis protect many patients from developing destructive arthritis and disability.
      • Obtaining a complete history, including travel, infections in the past 6 weeks, and sexual history is an essential aspect of clinical decision making and creating a plan of care and appropriate referral.


      Reactive arthritis develops as a sequela of a remote infection, usually of the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tract. The presence of acute arthritis and absence of specific diagnostic test markers can lead to misdiagnosis. Prompt recognition and proper management prevent reactive arthritis from progressing to a chronic destructive arthritis. The nurse practitioner's familiarity with reactive arthritis, signs and symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and treatment regimen promote early intervention for achieving the best outcomes, including remission.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to The Journal for Nurse Practitioners
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Kobayashi S.
        • Taniguchi Y.
        • Kida I.
        • Tamura N.
        SARS-CoV2-triggered acute arthritis: viral arthritis rather than reactive arthritis.
        J Med Virol. 2021; 93: 6458-6459
        • Sunmboye K.L.
        • Klein J.
        Septic Arthritis.
        in: Sprigings D. Chambers J.B. Acute Medicine: A Practical Guide to the Management of Medical Emergencies. Fifth Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2017: 558-560
        • Pathan E.
        • Inman R.D.
        Pathophysiology of Reactive Arthritis.
        in: Espinoza LR. Infections and the Rheumatic Diseases. Springer International Publishing, 2019: 345-353
        • American College of Rheumatology
        Reactive Arthritis.
        (Updated December 2021)
        • Sholter D.
        • Russell A.
        Synovial fluid analysis. 2022. UpToDate.
        • Ross J.J.
        Septic arthritis of native joints.
        Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2017; 31: 203-218
        • Mandell B.F.
        Synovial Fluid Analysis and the Evaluation of Patients with Arthritis.
        Springer International Publishing AG, 2022
        • Pennisi M.
        • Perdue J.
        • Roulston T.
        • Nicholas J.
        • Schmidt E.
        • Rolfs J.
        An overview of reactive arthritis.
        JAAPA. 2019; 32: 25-28
        • Toy G.
        • Du Broff J.
        • La Brin J.
        S1872. Diagnosis and management of reactive arthritis associated with Clostridium difficile infection.
        Am J Gastroenterol. 2021; 116: S823
        • Sondhi A.R.
        • Platt K.D.
        • Gupta A.
        Fever, diarrhea, and weight loss in a man with inflammatory polyarthritis.
        JAMA. 2020; 323: 369-370
        • Sharma V.
        • Sharma A.
        Infectious mimics of rheumatoid arthritis.
        Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2022; 36101736
      1. Cheeti A, Chakraborty RK, Ramphul K. Reactive Arthritis. June 14, 2022. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; January 2022. Accessed October 11, 2022.


      Sijimol Mathew, DNP, ACNP-BC, is a nocturnal program nurse practitioner at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and can be contacted at [email protected]