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Joint Bone Spine
Volume 73, n° 3
pages 303-310 (mai 2006)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jbspin.2005.05.005
Received : 26 October 2004 ;  accepted : 16 May 2005
Spondylarthropathy striking prevalence in a 19th-20th century Portuguese collection
 

Sophie Martin-Dupont a, , Eugénia Cunha b, Daniel Rougé c, Éric Crubézy c
a Laboratoire de médecine légale, faculté de médecine de Limoges, 2, rue du docteur-Marcland, Limoges 87042 cedex, France 
b Departamento de antropologia, universidade de Coimbra, 3000-056 Coimbra, Portugal 
c UMR 8555 CNRS, université Paul-Sabatier, 39, allée Jules-Guesde, 31000 Toulouse, France 

*Corresponding author. Service des urgences, centre hospitalier universitaire de Limoges, 2, avenue Martin-Luther-King, 87042 Limoges cedex, France. Tel.: +33 5 55 05 64 92; fax: + 33 5 55 05 62 44.
Abstract

The concept of spondylarthropathy (SPAP) covers a series of pathologies sharing a common genetic basis and infectious triggers.

Objectives. - To present and discuss the prevalence of SPAP in the Coimbra identified skeletal collection, a 19th-20th century Portuguese sample.

Materials and methods. - Each of the 505 individuals was macroscopically examined; each joint being assessed for degenerative, inflammatory, ankylosing, entesopathic, traumatic, congenital, infectious, or associated lesions. For the diagnosis of SPAP, besides the criteria proposed by Rogers and Rothschild, it was also applied a new set of criteria established by Martin-Dupont. Associated and differential diagnoses were also discussed.

Results. - Using these latter criteria, SPAP was definitely diagnosed in 34 individuals (6.7%), mostly women and elderly individuals. Furthermore, SPAP was diagnosed as probable in 32 (6.3%) and could not be excluded in 98 skeletons (19.4%). Except for the third category, the results were close to those obtained when using the arguments of others authors.

Discussion. - The specificity of each criterion is discussed, and the results are precautiously compared with other studies both from past and contemporary samples. Graduating the diagnosis as certain, probable or unexcluded, seems to us of interest, leading to etiological discussion as in clinical practice.

Conclusion. - The high prevalence of SPAP achieved for the Portuguese collection might be explained by high exposure to infectious triggers.

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Keywords : Spondylarthropathy, Ankylosing spondylitis, Paleopathology




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