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Classification criteria and diagnosis in spondyloarthritis 

Classification criteria and diagnosis in spondyloarthritis
Classification criteria and diagnosis in spondyloarthritis
Axial Spondyloarthritis (Oxford Rheumatology Library)

Stefan Siebert

, Sengupta Raj

, and Alexander Tsoukas


The spondyloarthropathies (SpA) are heterogeneous multisystem disorders with no single ‘gold standard’ clinical, laboratory, pathological or radiological feature to confirm the diagnosis. A number of criteria have therefore been developed to support clinical practice and research. In this chapter, we highlight the important differences between classification and diagnostic criteria, which are often confused although they have very different applications. We then review some of the major SpA classification criteria including the modified New York criteria for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), the Amor and ESSG criteria for SpA, and the ASAS criteria for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). The evolution of these classification criteria has facilitated many significant advances in the field of axSpA and SpA in general. Specifically, the development of classification criteria for axSpA that do not rely on established radiographic damage has allowed biologic therapies to be investigated, and used, in earlier disease and for a wider population of patients.

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