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What are axial spondyloarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis? 

What are axial spondyloarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis?
What are axial spondyloarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis?
Axial Spondyloarthritis (Oxford Rheumatology Library)

Stefan Siebert

, Sengupta Raj

, and Alexander Tsoukas


Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory arthritis affecting mainly the sacroiliac joints and spine, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced movement. AS has a major negative impact on patients’ quality of life. AS is part of a larger group of related spondyloarthritis (SpA) conditions and patients with AS often have extra-articular manifestations of these conditions. Over the past decade, there have been major advances in the understanding of the genetics and pathophysiology of the disease. Advances in imaging have allowed patients to be diagnosed without having to develop the radiographic structural damage that characterize AS, resulting in the concept of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). Together with the development of highly effective TNF inhibitors, these advances have transformed the management and outlook of patients with this condition. It is hoped that further advances in diagnosis, assessment and treatment of axSpA will lead to further progress in future.

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