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Letter to the editor re: prevalence, demographics, and clinical characteristics of Latin American patients with spondyloarthritis

The Original Article was published on 08 January 2021

Dear Editor,

We have read with great interest the article “Prevalence, demographics, and clinical characteristics of Latin American patients with spondyloarthritis” by Gustavo Citera et al. The authors carry out a depth analysis of the current state of spondyloarthritis (SpA), including psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in the region. Covering from epidemiology, clinical manifestations and treatment [1].

We want to highlight the final message of the article, were the authors identified several gaps in the literature on SpA in the region. They emphasis the need for more consistent studies, with consistent methodologies, to obtain strong evidence from this pathology in Latin America.

We are convinced that the scientific societies of the region and Pan American League of Associations of Rheumatology (PANLAR) are responding to those demands. There are two projects under development, the first one is ESPALDA registry: registro de esponiloartritis axial de america, created by PANLAR SpA study group, which will soon have data from the entire region that will be able to respond to unmet needs ( The second comes from the REAL PANLAR special group that successfully developed centers of excellence in rheumatoid arthritis and is working on the quality standards for centers of excellence in SpA [2].

Both projects that are not mentioned in the article, will provided new data, to successfully respond to those demands and to have quality data for taking decisions.

Regarding the methodology of the article, we believe that the use of a narrative review is a weakness, although it was carried out by experts on the topic. The literature review may have selection bias, where publications are chosen by known and on occasions the populations studied can be repeated in two different publications. In any case, narrative reviews by experts are useful for a first look of the reality and to be ready for a systematic review and meta-analysis [3].

The Latin American population is unique and heterogeneous like Spa. This allows us to have distinctive information about our patients, different from those published in other regions. We believe that we must continue working together with other countries in the region to obtain such important evidence [4].

Availability of data and materials

Not applicable.





Psoriatic arthritis


Pan American League of Associations of Rheumatology


Registro de espondiloartritis axial de America


  1. Citera G, Bautista-Molano W, Peláez-Ballestas I, Azevedo VF, Perich RA, Méndez-Rodríguez JA, et al. Prevalence, demographics, and clinical characteristics of Latin American patients with spondyloarthritis. Adv Rheumatol. 2021;61(1):2.

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  2. Santos-Moreno P, Galarza-Maldonado C, Caballero-Uribe CV, Cardiel MH, Massardo L, Soriano ER, et al. REAL-PANLAR Project for the implementation and accreditation of centers of excellence in rheumatoid arthritis throughout Latin America: a consensus position paper from REAL-PANLAR Group on improvement of rheumatoid arthritis care in Latin America Establishing Centers of Excellence. J Clin Rheumatol. 2015;21(4):175–80.

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  3. Featherstone RM, Dryden DM, Foisy M, Guise JM, Mitchell MD, Paynter RA, et al. Advancing knowledge of rapid reviews: an analysis of results, conclusions and recommendations from published review articles examining rapid reviews. Syst Rev. 2015;4(1):50.

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  4. García Salinas R, Ruta S, Chichande J, Sanchez Prado E, Ruta A, Salvatori F, et al. “Reuma-check” performance of a comprehensive fast-track program for the diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis in South America. J Clin Rheumatol. 2021.

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All authors contributed substantially to the conception and design of the work and acquisition and interpretation of the data. SS, FS, and RGS additionally analysed drafted the initial version of the manuscript. The author(s) read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rodrigo Garcia-Salinas.

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Garcia-Salinas, R., Scarafia, S. & Sommerfleck, F. Letter to the editor re: prevalence, demographics, and clinical characteristics of Latin American patients with spondyloarthritis. Adv Rheumatol 61, 26 (2021).

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