Background: The strong association between HLA-B27 and spondyloarthritis (SpA) has
demonstrated that typing the HLA-B27 antigen is a crucial step in diagnosis and aids in defining the
progression and severity of disease.
Objective: To describe the frequency of HLA-B27 in Colombian individuals with clinical manifestations
associated with SpA.
Materials and Methodology: We retrospectively analyzed 4109 HLA-B27 typing requests to the
Hospital Militar Central and the Instituto de Referencia Andino from Colombian individuals with
clinical signs suggestive of SpA between 2009 and 2012. We used basic digital cytometry followed
by Polymerase Chain Reaction with sequence specific primers when confirmation was needed. We
determined the frequency of HLA-B27 in the population and levels of association of HLA-B27 with
Results: Our population included 1585 men (36.8%) and 2524 women (61.4%). The predominant
age range was between 19 and 45 years (49.9%). The majority (95.4%) of the study population came
from the Andean region and eastern plains. The most frequent clinical manifestations were peripheral.
Only a small fraction (12.1%) of the 4109 subjects was HLA-B27 positive. Of those, 56.9%
were male, and 54.7% were between 19 and 45 years old. In contrast, when rheumatologists referred
the HLA B27, 64% were found to be positive.
Conclusion: The frequency of the HLA-B27 allele in individuals with clinical signs suggestive of
SpA was low, in accordance with the lower prevalence found in Colombian patients diagnosed with
SpA compared to American and European population.