Rapid Review Quiz: Ankylosing Spondylitis and Nonradiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis

Herbert S. Diamond, MD


August 23, 2023

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) (or axial spondyloarthritis [axSpA]) is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily involves the sacroiliac joints and spine. Characterized by fatigue, stiffness, and pain that often leads to functional impairment, axSpA presents clinically as either radiographic (confirmed by sacroiliac joint damage on radiography) or nonradiographic. Patients with nonradiographic axSpA (nr-axSpA) lack this damage, and clinicians often confirm AS on the basis of MRI or laboratory results. The reported prevalence of AS in the general population ranges from 9 to 30 per 10,000 persons, depending on case definition, geographic region, data source or study population, and methodology. Because AS is a systemic disorder that affects multiple organ systems, an interprofessional approach across specialties can help provide more comprehensive care and prevent morbidity in patients with AS.

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