We describe the development of a destructive, erosive spondyloarthropathy in three long-term dialysis patients (mean duration of dialysis, 96 months). In all three patients, the lesions caused symptomatic vertebral pain and developed during a period of only a few months. All patients had extremely elevated levels of immunoreactive parathyroid hormone, and two patients had evidence of severe hyperparathyroidism on bone biopsy specimens. Two patients who underwent subtotal parathyroidectomy had rapid relief of symptoms and no further radiographic evidence of progression of the spondyloarthropathy. The third patient refused subtotal parathyroidectomy and had pronounced progression of the destructive spondyloarthropathy in the cervical spine. The limited experience of others, along with our currently reported findings, strongly suggests that hyperparathyroidism plays a major role in the development of this disorder. Erosive spondyloarthropathy is increasingly recognized in long-term dialysis patients and may be a unique clinical and radiographic manifestation of severe hyperparathyroidism in this population.
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