Send to

Choose Destination
Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Nov;52(11):3611-7.

Cat-scratch disease-associated arthropathy.

Author information

Pridan Laboratory for Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases, Ichilov Hospital, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, 6 Weizman Street, Tel-Aviv 64239, Israel.



To characterize the articular manifestations of cat-scratch disease (CSD) and to evaluate the long-term clinical outcome of those manifestations.


A community- and hospital-based surveillance study of CSD was conducted in Israel between 1991 and 2002. CSD was defined as present in a patient when a compatible clinical syndrome and a positive confirmatory finding of Bartonella henselae (by serology and/or polymerase chain reaction) were identified. CSD patients with arthropathy (arthritis/arthralgia) that limited or precluded usual activities of daily living constituted the study group. Patients were followed up until > or =6 weeks after resolution of symptoms, or if symptoms persisted, for >/=12 months. CSD patients without arthropathy served as controls.


Among 841 CSD patients, 24 (2.9%) had rheumatoid factor-negative arthropathy that was often severe and disabling. Both univariate and multivariate analyses identified female sex (67% of arthropathy patients versus 40% of controls; relative risk [RR] 2.5, P = 0.047), age older than 20 years (100% of arthropathy patients versus 43% of controls; RR 4.9, P = 0.001), and erythema nodosum (21% of arthropathy patients versus 2% of controls; RR 7.9, P = 0.001) as variables significantly associated with arthropathy. Knee, wrist, ankle, and elbow joints were most frequently affected. Ten patients (42%) had severe arthropathy in the weight-bearing joints, which substantially limited their ability to walk, and 4 of these patients were hospitalized. All of the patients had regional lymphadenopathy, 37.5% had nocturnal joint pain, and 25% had morning stiffness. Nineteen patients (79.2%) recovered after a median duration of 6 weeks (range 1-24 weeks), whereas 5 patients (20.8%) developed chronic disease persisting 16-53 months (median 30 months) after the onset of arthropathy.


This is the first comprehensive study of arthropathy in CSD. CSD-associated arthropathy is an uncommon syndrome affecting mostly young and middle-age women. It is often severe and disabling, and may take a chronic course.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center