Reiter’s Syndrome

  • George Csonka
Part of the Ergebnisse der Inneren Medizin und Kinderheilkunde book series (KINDERHEILK. NF, volume 23)


Arthritis following dysentery has been recognised for many centuries but the syndrome of urethritis + arthritis + conjunctivitis in association with dysentery was probably first recorded by Stoll in 1776. The same combination of symptoms without preceding dysentery and believed to be of venereal origin was, according to Harkness (1950), first published by Sir Benjamin Brodie in 1818 who gave a superb clinical description of six male patients. For the next 100 years only few such cases were recorded. In 1916 Reiter in the German Army and Fiessinger and Leroy in the French Army reported their cases and a more universal interest was taken in this condition which became known as Reiter’s syndrome in Germany, Scandinavia and the Anglosaxon countries and Fiessinger-Leroy-Reiter syndrome in France. Other names have been proposed from time to time such as “conjunctival-urethral-synovial syndrome” in France, or “uropolyarthritis” in Scandinavia but these descriptive terms have not become popular and if taken literally would restrict our efforts in defining and characterising the syndrome. There has also been differences of opinion whether the condition should be termed “Reiter’s syndrome” or “Reiter’s disease” and whilst Professor Reiter in a recent paper proposed that both conditions exist and differ in certain clinical aspects (Reiter, 1963) there seems to be good reason to continue calling it “Reiter’s syndrome” since multiple aetiologies may account for it (Weinberger, 1962) and this is the term used in the present review.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Csonka
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Mary’s HospitalLondonUK

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