Definition of SAPHO syndrome

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

SAPHO syndrome: Synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis syndrome, which involves symptoms including warmth, tenderness, pain, swelling, and stiffness of involved joints (arthritis); fluid-filled blister-like areas (pustules), typically on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet, and peeling and flaking of skin in those areas; abnormal, excessive growth of bone, frequently at the points of the bone where tendons attach; and inflammation of the sacroiliac joints (sacroiliitis), as well as inflammation of the spine (spondylitis), leading to stiffness and pain of the neck and back. SAPHO syndrome is thought to be related to other arthritic conditions that typically affect the spine, including ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis.


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