In patients with inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis (IBD-SpA), dactylitis, enthesitis, and anterior uveitis (AU) are significantly less frequent than in patients with other types of SpA, according to Fabrizio Cantini, MD, and his associates.

In a 12-month, case-control study, 88 patients with IBD-SpA, 29 with ulcerative colitis (UC), and 59 with Crohn’s disease (CD) were examined along with the 176 patients with SpA in the control group. Results showed a significantly lower occurrence of dactylitis in case patients, with 4 episodes (4.5%) in IBD-SpA patients and 30 (17.4%) in controls (P = .008). The comparison of the frequency of dactylitis in patients with UC-SpA and in patients with CD-SpA found no significant differences between the two (3.4% and 5.08%, respectively; P = .843). Enthesitis was significantly lower in IBD-SpA, occurring in 16 out of 88 patients (18.1%), compared with in 78 out of 176 controls (44.3%; P less than .001). AU was also recorded in 3 (3.4%) of the patients with IBD-SpA and in 26 controls (14.7%; P = .010), and B27 positivity was recorded in 10 (11.3%) of patients with IBD-SpA and in 70 (39.8%) of patients with SpA (P less than .001).

There was a significantly lower occurrence of dactylitis reported in IBD-SpA patients without psoriasis (1 case in 74 patients; P = .001) compared with the control group, while dactylitis occurrence was not significantly different in 3 out of 14 patients (21.4%) with coexistent psoriasis (P = .960). Enthesitis was significantly higher in 14 IBD-SpA patients with associated psoriasis (50%), compared with the remaining 74 cases (12.1%; P = .003). It was noted that enthesitis occurrence was not different in patients with UC and in those with CD (P = .103).

“The results of our case-control study show that dactylitis, enthesitis, and AU are significantly less frequent in IBD-SpA, compared with other types of SpA,” researchers concluded. “Owing to the frequent association of psoriasis with IBD, and especially with CD, the coexistence of skin disease should be taken into account when evaluating the prevalence of dactylitis and enthesitis in patients with IBD-SpA.”

Find the full study in the Journal of Rheumatology ( doi: 10.3899/jrheum.161518 ).