What Is Viral Arthritis??
Viral arthritis is the swelling or inflammation of one or more joints caused by a viral infection. Acute-onset arthritis is a common clinical condition for both general practitioners and rheumatologists. Approximately one percent of all episodes of acute arthritis is caused by a viral infection.
What Causes Viral Arthritis?
Viral Arthritis and Patients With Comorbidities:
Parvovirus B-19, commonly known as the "fifth disease" or erythema infectiosum, can cause arthritis and arthralgia in both children and adults. Up to 60 % of adults who are infected experience joint problems. The skin eruption may be accompanied by or followed by arthritis or arthralgias. However, adult rashes are less frequent. A prevalent pattern in adults includes proximal interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joints, most usually affected by acute symmetrical polyarticular arthritis mimicking RA. Finding circulating IgM parvovirus antibodies allows for the identification of acute parvovirus infection. IgG antibodies have been detected in a significant number of healthy persons as well as those who may have a prior infection. Arthritis caused by B19 typically goes away on its own within a few weeks.
Though it rarely results in arthritis, hepatitis A occasionally might induce arthralgias. The hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) viruses can both lead to arthralgia and arthritis. Between 10 and 25 percent of HBV patients experience arthralgia and arthritic symptoms. It may have multiple joints and be symmetrical. The rapidly progressive stage is when the arthritic symptoms typically appear, and they may not be accompanied by any other clinical signs of hepatitis. Fever and rash may offer hints as to the underlying condition. The remission of HBV-related arthritis with jaundice is one of its distinguishing characteristics. Rarely, polyarteritis nodosa caused by HBV might also present with arthritis. In hepatitis C patients with arthritis, immune complex production and retention are also thought to be the pathophysiologic process.
The HIV-associated arthritis syndromes cover a wide range of conditions, including psoriatic arthritis, septic arthritis, reactive arthritis, HIV-associated arthritis, and infrequently reported painful articular syndrome. Since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the prevalence of various arthritic disorders has drastically decreased. Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), which occasionally reveals the underlying rheumatological problems, has been observed to be precipitated by the start of HAART.
The most frequent joint symptom of Epstein-Barr virus infection is arthralgia; however, arthritis is an uncommon condition that can occasionally cause significant joint swelling. Joint clinical manifestations are self-limiting, and symptomatic therapy is used. Although a triggering role in the onset of chronic inflammatory arthritis in RA has been suggested, no conclusive proof has been discovered.
What Is Viral Arthritis in Children?
Children are most commonly affected by viral infections, which can cause arthritis during or after a free interval of two to four weeks.
Common Site: Joints of the lower limbs (ankles and knees).
Symptoms: Articular symptoms in true infectious arthritis.
Diagnosis: Viruses rubella, varicella-zoster, herpes, CMV, and others, can be isolated from synovial fluid. The presence of their antigen-antibody type immune complexes in the synovial fluid with different viral infections suggests post-viral arthritis in children.
Management: With symptomatic treatment, postinfectious arthritis has a good prognosis; recovery takes only a few weeks (approximately six weeks).
What Are the Symptoms of Viral Arthritis?
The self-limited episode of symmetric polyarticular arthritis or arthralgia, fever, rash, and lymphadenopathy are the common symptoms of viral arthritis. The symptoms may also vary based on the type of virus infection.
How to Diagnose Viral Arthritis?
The collection of clinical manifestations that characterize viral arthritis appears to be connected to the particular virus that is infecting the patient. These patients typically experience an episode of symmetrical polyarthritis arthritis or arthralgia that resolves on its own. Infrequent is monoarthritis. Fever, a rash, and lymphadenopathy could be present. Rheumatoid factor (RF) and antinuclear antibody (ANA) are two autoantibodies that may be present in certain viral arthritis syndromes, which can mimic the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in rare situations. The titers are often small and short-lived. Most of these infections in viral arthritis are self-limiting for less than 6 to 12 weeks. Viruses like Chikungunya are known for causing recurrent and frequently chronic arthritis.
Inflammatory markers, autoantibodies, and serology: Confirmation of viral arthritis.
Serology testing: To identify the type of virus.
IgM antibody response: Acute infection (within six weeks).
IgG isotype: Chronic infection (after six weeks).
How Do You Treat Viral Arthritis?
Symptomatic treatment is used when viral arthritis has been present for less than six weeks. The basis of treatment is NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications). Low-dose Corticosteroids should only be used if NSAIDs cannot be prescribed.
How Long Does Viral Arthritis Last?
Depending on the type of viral infection, viral arthritis can last from days to weeks. Rarely can it become a chronic condition like hepatitis.
How Do You Get Rheumatoid Arthritis From a Viral Infection?
Viruses such as parvovirus and EBV may cause rheumatoid arthritis. RA is characterized by early morning stiffness of joints, inflammation of joints in three or more regions, and the presence of arthralgia for more than six weeks. RA can also be confirmed with the presence of RA factor and ANA.
Understanding that many of these viral arthritis diseases are linked to increased levels of inflammatory markers is important. The titers for these markers are often modest and temporary, as repeatedly stated. A referral to a rheumatologist might be wise if the arthralgia and joint swelling persist or get worse despite the fact that many of these cases may be treated in a primary care setting.