• Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis and Tests

Diagnosis and Tests
Ankylosing Spondylitis is one of a cluster of conditions called seronegative spondyloarthropathies, in which rheumatoid factor tests are negative and the characteristic pathological lesion is an inflammation of the enthesis (the insertion of tensile connective tissue into bone).

Clinical Criteria for Diagnosing Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Low back pain and stiffness since a minimum of 3 months that gets better by exercise and not with rest
  • Lumbar spine mobility restricted in any direction
  • Limitation in chest expansion as compared with normal range for age and gender

Other Indications

  • X-ray of spine & MRI studies: Severe unilateral sacroilitis or moderate bilateral sacroilitis wherein there is inflammation of the hip bones.
    Tests & Diagnosis Of Ankylosing Spondylitis
    X-ray showing Bamboo Spine
    in a patient with Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Genetic marker blood tests are the major diagnostic tools. More than 95% of people who have been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis are HLA-B27 positive.
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) increase during acute inflammatory periods but is not seen in everyone.
  • The Schober's test is a useful clinical measure performed during examination. Here, the physician tests the ability of the lower back to bend forward effectively. A restriction in forward bending would increase the likelihood of the patient having Ankylosing Spondylitis.