Frequency of irritable bowel syndrome in spondyloarthritis: a multicentric cross-sectional study and meta-analysis

RMD Open. 2024 Jan 12;10(1):e003836.doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2023-003836.


Jessika Bernard 1Thomas Barnetche 2Charlotte Amory 3Jerome Despres 4Maxime Vandersmissen 5Justine Landrin 2Cecile Gaujoux-Viala 6 7Cédric Lukas 3 7Adeline Ruyssen-Witrand 4Marie-Elise Truchetet 2Pascale Vergne-Salle 5Sylvain Mathieu 1Anne Tournadre 8


Author information

1Rheumatology, Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, Rheumatology Department, UNH-UMR 1019, INRAe and University Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.

2Rheumatology, Bordeaux University Hospital FHU ACRONIM, Bordeaux, France.

3Rheumatology, University Hospital Lapeyronie, Montpellier, France.

4Rheumatology, Toulouse University Hospital, Rheumatology Centre, Centre d'Investigation Clinique de Toulouse CIC1436, Inserm, Team PEPSS « Pharmacologie En Population cohorteS et biobanqueS » University of Toulouse 3, Toulouse, France.

5Rheumatology, Limoges University Hospital, team CAPtuR, UMR Inserm 1308, University of Limoges, France, Limoges, France.

6Rheumatology, Nîmes University Hospital, Nîmes, France.

7UA11 Institut Desbrest d'Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique, University of Montpellier, INSERM, Montpellier, France.

8Rheumatology, Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital, Rheumatology Department, UNH-UMR 1019, INRAe and University Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France atournadre@chu-clermontferrand.fr.


Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of symptoms and factors associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in axial spondyloarthritis (ax-SpA).

Methods: In a cross-sectional multicentric study, consecutive patients with ax-SpA treated with biologics in five rheumatology departments were asked for IBS Rome IV criteria. Demographic data, lifestyle behaviours and disease characteristics were recorded. Second, a systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.

Results: Of the 500 patients with ax-SpA included, 124 reported IBS symptoms (25%). Female gender, unemployment, higher Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) and worse Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index scores, multiple lines of biologics, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and lower physical activity were associated with IBS symptoms. In multivariate model, the risk of IBS was associated with anxiety and physical inactivity. From the literature review, the prevalence of IBS in patients with SpA was 15.4% (8.8% to 23.3%). Meta-analysis of the five studies comparing the presence of IBS in patients with SpA (323/7292) and healthy controls (484/35587) showed a significant increase of IBS in patients with SpA (OR=1.59 (1.05 to 2.40)).

Conclusion: The prevalence of IBS symptoms was high in the ax-SpA population and should therefore be considered in the presence of gastrointestinal disorders. The presence of IBS symptoms was associated with anxiety and low physical activity in multivariate analysis. Patients with IBS symptoms tended to have more difficult to manage disease characterised by higher activity, worse functional score and multiple lines of treatment in univariate analysis.

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