Higher levels of inflammation reported in Ankylosing Spondylitis's as compared to Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis

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Higher levels of inflammation reported in Ankylosing Spondylitis's as compared to Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nrAxSpA) are the forms of axial spondylitis (SpA). It involves chronic inflammatory arthritis of the spine and sacroiliac joints with a little diagnostic difference. This difference is the structural changes in sacroiliac joints and spine which are present only in the patients suffering from AS.

According to a recent research, AS patients have higher levels of inflammation and male patient ratio as compared to nrAxSpA patients. Besides this, the ratio of other factors such as disease activity, physical function and health status are equal.

To figure out the differences among these groups, scientists conducted a study among 100 consecutive patients with axial spondylitis who were not treated with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists. They compared the data of these patients. The factors involved in data analysis were patient-reported outcomes, levels and types of inflammation and structural changes. These were measured by certain diagnostic techniques such as inflammation by C-reactive protein (CRP) test levels, spinal inflammation by MRI and structural changes by conventional radiography.

Of 100 patients, 56 were diagnosed with AS and rest detected to have nrAxSpA. The CRP test levels and disease activity score (DAS) were higher among AS patients as compared to nrAxSpA. Also, the number of inflammatory lesions on MRI were only present in patients with AS. Further; the AS was more prominent in men than women.

Overall, it can be suggested that nrAxSpA patients cannot be characterized as preradiographic AS, but rather as an abortive subgroup of SpA with symptoms much similar to established AS. This form of the disease was prominent in women with better function, and less structural changes. Though, the data justified nrAxSpA patients’ involvement in recent recommendations for anti-TNF therapy, since the burden was considered comparable in nrAxSpA patients and established AS.


Arthritis Care & Research

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The original title of the article:

Lower Levels of Inflammation in Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis as Compared to Ankylosing Spondylitis


Lauren Grygotis


Diagnostic, Ankylosing spondylitis, Spine, Sacroiliac joints
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