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Prognosis

With therapy, the outlook for reactive arthritis is good, although the condition is quite variable. Severe cases may be associated with significant joint damage, vision problems and other disabling manifestations, whereas other cases are much milder and only intermittently bothersome. Risk factors for more severe disease include one or more of the following:

  • Male gender

  • Venereal infection (rather than intestinal infection)

  • Sacroiliac or hip joint involvement

  • Swelling of a finger or toe

  • Blood tests showing evidence of marked body-wide inflammation

  • Presence of gene marker, HLA-B27

  • Poor response to initial therapy

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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