Which histologic findings are characteristic of reactive arthritis (ReA)?

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Histopathologic findings of the early cutaneous lesions are essentially the same as in psoriasis. Early lesions of keratoderma blennorrhagicum and balanitis circinata feature a spongiform pustule in the upper dermis. Later lesions of keratoderma usually do not contain spongiform pustules but reveal the nonspecific findings of acanthosis, hyperkeratosis, and parakeratosis.

Reiter cells, large macrophages that contain engulfed lymphocytes, PMNs, and, rarely, plasma cells may be observed in synovial fluid. Such cells account for less than 1% of the synovial fluid WBCs. These cells are found in the synovium; however, extensive pannus formation is rare.

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