Glossary On Diagnosis

The earlier Ankylosing Spondylitisis is diagnosed, better is the scope of treatment of the same. This is because ankylosing spondylitis tends to cause structural changes in the joints which may not be possible to reverse if the condition has advanced. The patient’s symptoms are the earliest pointers to this condition. Certain examination findings that help to confirm the diagnosis are:

  • A physical examination that clearly demonstrates inflammation (arthritis) and decreased range of motion of joints
  • Reduced flexibility of the lower back and neck along with a stooped posture
  • Tenderness of the sacroiliac joints (upper buttocks)
  • Limited expansion of the chest due to rigidity of the chest wall
  • Ophthalmoscopy: To evaluate inflammation of eyes

Investigations generally suggested to the patients: include

  • X-ray findings - indicative of the fusion of the joints
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect inflammation and other changes in the joints
  • Blood tests:
    • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
    • C-reactive protein (CRP)
    • Complete Blood Count (CBC) to determine anemia
  • Blood test genetic marker - HLA-B27 gene
  • Urine analysis to rule out kidney conditions that can cause back pain. This test also helps to keep a track on kidney functions in known cases of ankylosing spondylitis.
Ankylosing Spondylitis