Lower genital tract infections in young female juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients


Adv. rheumatol.




Abstract Background: To evaluate human papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infections in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients. Methods: After exclusion, 33 female adolescent and young JIA patients (ILAR criteria) and 28 healthy controls were selected for this study. Demographic data, gynecological, sexual function, cervical cytology and histological abnormalities were evaluated. JIA clinical/laboratorial parameters and treatment were also assessed. HPV-DNA, CT-DNA and NG-DNA testing in cervical specimens were performed by Hybrid Capture 2 assays. Results: The mean current age was similar in JIA patients and controls (23.3 ± 6.24 vs. 26.1 ± 6.03 years, p = 0.09). The frequencies of sexual intercourse (76% vs. 89%, p = 0.201) and abnormal cervical cytology (24% vs. 11%, p = 0.201) were similar in JIA compared to controls. The higher frequency of HPV infection in JIA patients than controls (30% vs. 11%, p = 0.155) did not reach statistical significance. CT (0% vs. 7%, p = 0.207) and NG infections (0% vs. 4%, p = 0.459) were also alike in both groups. Further evaluation of JIA patients with abnormal and normal cervical cytology showed that the former group had a higher frequency of HPV infection (87% vs. 12%, p = 0.0002) with a low frequency of HPV vaccination (0% vs. 8%, p = 1.0). No differences were evidenced between these two JIA groups regarding demographic data, sexual function and clinical/laboratorial parameters. The frequencies of methotrexate (p =0.206) and biological agent use (p =0.238) were similar in both JIA groups. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this was the first study to assess lower genital infections in JIA patients allowing the identification of HPV as main cause of cervical dysplasia. Methotrexate and biological agents do not seem to increase risk of lower genital tract infections in JIA patients.

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