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Ankylosing Spondylitis


Step 1: View clinicals

A 35 year old woman presents with intermittent back pain and stiffness for 10 years, which have progressed over time and are now debilitating, preventing her from conducting her daily household activities. These symptoms are worst in the morning; they initially resolved over a few hours, but have become persistent now. Due to financial reasons, she has never sought medical advice, preferring to medicate herself with over-the-counter analgesics. Her medical history is otherwise unremarkable. There is no history of trauma.

Step 2: Order all relevant investigations

Rheumatoid Factor

The rheumatoid factor assay is negative.


ESR: 38 mm/1h (<20) CRP: 4 mg/dL (0-1.0 mg/dL)

X-Ray B/L Sacroiliac Joints

There is grade 2 sacroiliitis of both joints.

X-Ray Thoracolumbar Spine

There is squaring of the vertebrae, syndesmophyte formation and ossification of the spinal ligaments (i.e. a bamboo spine).

Step 3: Select appropriate management

Anti-TNF Agents

Score: ★★☆