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Comparison of non-radiographic spondyloarthritis versus ankylosing spondylitis patients undergoing biological therapy – data from a Romanian cohort
Both non-radiographic spondyloarthritis (nr-SpA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are medical conditions that belong to the axial spondyloarthritis spectrum; these two terms reveal the extent of sacroiliitis assessed by conventional x-ray or MRI. According to the latest classification criteria (ASAS, 2009), clinicians are able to differentiate patients with nr-SpA from AS and to follow their disease progression.
The present study aims to compare the two patient categories undergoing biological therapy with an anti-TNF agent and indicate distinct disease features. We included 94 patients in treatment with IFX, ADL, ETA or GOL and monitored clinical, biological and disease activity parameters.
The nr-SpA subgroup included a higher percentage of female patients; AS patients presented higher values of the CRP at follow-up visits; there were no significant differences between the two groups regarding the HLA-B27 presence, uveitis history or smoking status.
Patients with an inactive disease status had a lower BMI, shorter disease duration and an early initiation of biological therapy, so that we suggest a close and regular monitoring of these two entities.
Keywords: non-radiographic spondyloarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, anti-TNF therapy, radiographic progression, window of opportunity