Objectives: In recent years, great progress has been made in the development of diagnostic tools, therapeutic approaches, and validated outcome measures in the understanding of the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The purpose of this review was to summarize these developments. Methods: We performed a PubMed search for the period 1978 to 2005, using the keyword, "ankylosing spondylitis," resulting in a total of 4878 publications, including 778 reviews. Articles were then selected based on their discussion of recent diagnostic tools and new treatment approaches in the pathogenesis of AS, leading to a final total of 104 articles. Results: In recent years, there have been 2 major developments in the management of AS that make earlier diagnosis possible and offer the hope of alleviating pain and preventing structural changes that result in loss of function. These developments include the use of magnetic resonance imaging to visualize the inflammatory changes in the sacroiliac joint and the axial spine, and the demonstration that tumor necrosis factor blocking agents are highly efficacious in reducing spinal inflammation and possibly in slowing radiographic progression. Conclusions: There have been major advances in both the diagnostic tools and the therapeutic regimens available for patients with AS.
- computed tomography
- sacroiliitis, HLA B27
- seronegative spondyloarthritis
- TNF blocking agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine