Do geography and ethnicity play a role in juvenile Spondyloarthritis? A multi-center binational retrospective study.

TitleDo geography and ethnicity play a role in juvenile Spondyloarthritis? A multi-center binational retrospective study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsGhantous N, Heshin-Bekenstein M, Dequattro K, Lakovsky Y, Hendel AMoshe, Rappoport N, Aviel YButbul, Tirosh I, Harel L, Weiss PF, Gensler L, Mackenzie J, Amarilyo G
JournalPediatr Rheumatol Online J
Date Published2021 Jan 06

BACKGROUND: Observations among Israeli pediatric rheumatologists reveal that pediatric Juvenile Spondyloarthritis (JSpA) may present differently compared to patients from the United States (US). This study is aimed to compare the demographic and clinical variables of Israeli and US JSpA patients upon presentation.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective, cross-sectional, multicenter comparison of JSpA patients among 3 large Israeli pediatric rheumatology centers and a large US pediatric rheumatology center. Patients with diagnosis of Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis (JAS) and/or Enthesitis-related Arthritis (ERA) were included. The demographic, clinical and radiologic features were compared.

RESULTS: Overall 87 patients were included (39 Israeli, 48 US patients). Upon presentation, inflammatory back pain, sacroiliac joint tenderness and abnormal modified Schober test, were significantly more prevalent among Israeli patients (59% vs. 35.4, 48.7% vs. 16.7, and 41.2% vs. 21.5%, respectively, all p < 0.05), whereas peripheral arthritis and enthesitis were significantly more prevalent among US patients (43.6% vs. 91.7 and 7.7% vs. 39.6% in Israeli patients vs. US patients, p < 0.05). In addition, 96.7% of the Israeli patients versus 29.7% of the US patients demonstrated sacroiliitis on MRI (p < 0.001, N = 67). Less than one-third of the Israeli patients (32%) were HLA-B27 positive vs. 66.7% of US patients (p = 0.007).

CONCLUSION: Israeli children with JSpA presented almost exclusively with axial disease compared to US patients who were more likely to present with peripheral symptoms. HLA B27 prevalence was significantly lower in the Israeli cohort compared to the US cohort. Further studies are needed to unravel the genetic and possibly environmental factors associated with these findings.

Alternate JournalPediatr Rheumatol Online J
PubMed ID33407634