Synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis and osteitis syndrome: a single centre study of a cohort of 164 patients

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Objective. The aim was to assess the clinical, laboratory and radiological features of SAPHO syndrome.

Methods. We recruited all patients presenting to Peking Union Medical College Hospital from 2004 to 2015 diagnosed with SAPHO syndrome. The medical data, laboratory test results and imaging were collected for all patients.

Results. One hundred and sixty-four patients (111 women and 53 men) were recruited to our cohort. The mean age of the patients was 40.71 years. Nine patients had osteoarticular symptoms without skin involvement. One hundred and forty-three and 25 patients had palmoplantar pustulosis and severe acne, respectively. Psoriasis vulgaris was accompanied by palmoplantar pustulosis or severe acne in 24 patients. One hundred and sixty-four patients suffered from pain in the anterior chest wall, followed by spine (12 in the cervical region, 36 in the thoracic region and 111 in the lumbosacral region) and peripheral joint (136 patients) involvement. None of the patients had IBD. The hs-CRP level was increased in 70.8% patients. Only 2.4% were HLA-B27 positive. CT scan indicated osteolysis, sclerosis and hyperostosis in the anterior chest wall and spine in SAPHO syndrome patients. The bull-horn sign was the typical characteristic of SAPHO syndrome seen in bone scintigraphy images. One hundred and thirty-one (79.9%), 85 (51.8%), 100 (61%) and 54 (32.9%) patients took NSAIDs, CSs, DMARDs and oral bisphosphonates, respectively.

Conclusion. SAPHO syndrome is predominant in middle-age women, characterized by dermatological and osteoarticular manifestations with unknown aetiology. CT scan and bone scintigraphy are useful for diagnosis. There is still no standard treatment to control the disease.

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