A recent study published in the July Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases reported extra-articular disease manifestations such as ocular inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis are common among patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), with ocular inflammation leading the list.
Compared with the general population, patients with AS had the greatest risk; a nearly 16-fold greater chance of developing acute anterior uveitis.
Interest in the extra-articular manifestations of AS and other inflammatory conditions has increased in recent years, as questions concerning the impact on patients' quality of life.
These symptoms can aid in diagnosis, add complexity to patient care, and impact quality of life since their presence influences treatment decisions and may require collaboration with other specialists.
The study authors identified 4,101 patients diagnosed with AS between 1987 and 2012 and matched them with 28,591 control patients from a large UK database.
The incidence rate for the three most common extra-articular manifestations by 20 years from diagnosis were:
The risks of the development of all extra-articular manifestations were highest during the first year following AS diagnosis, remaining elevated for acute anterior uveitis but decreasing thereafter for inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
Clinician awareness of these disease manifestations "is important in view of treatment choices and impact on quality of life in patients with AS," the authors concluded.
Reference: Stolwijk C, Essers I, Tuberger A, et al. The Epidemiology of Extra-Articular Manifestations in Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Population-Based Matched Cohort Study. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. Abstract: Ann Rheum Dis 2015;74:1373-1378. Published Online First: March 21, 2014.