Arthropathies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Review for Clinicians

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a systemic, chronic autoimmune disease of the digestive tract. The etiology and pathophysiology of IBD is not fully understood, though it is believed to be due to a complex interaction among the patient's genotype, immune system, and environmental factors. Inflammatory bowel disease is frequently accompanied by extraintestinal manifestations that occur in almost half of all patients. The most common extraintestinal manifestation that occurs is joint disease, collectively termed the arthropathies of IBD. While epidemiological studies have estimated that the arthropathies of IBD occur in over 46% of the IBD population, there is a paucity of nursing literature concerning the extraintestinal manifestations of IBD and the role of nurses in patient care. Thus, the purpose of this article is to facilitate a greater understanding for nurses and nurse clinicians regarding the arthropathies associated with IBD including classifications, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management.

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