A systematic medline analysis of therapeutic approaches in ankylosing spondylitis
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- Goh, L. & Samanta, A. Rheumatol Int (2009) 29: 1123. doi:10.1007/s00296-009-0973-9
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder involving the sacroiliac joints (SIJs), spine and less frequently the peripheral joints. Traditionally, it is well recognised that AS is a challenging disease to manage due to the lack of effective therapeutic options. Current evidence would suggest this has changed and there are now a number of therapies available that provide persistent control of inflammatory symptoms with improvement in daily function. NSAIDs remain the first step in patient treatment. Sulphasalazine may be effective in peripheral arthritis and there are emerging data to support its use in early inflammatory back pain. Studies have shown that pamidronate and steroid injection into SIJ have a symptom-modifying effect in AS. Current data suggest that anti-TNF treatment promises early benefit which is likely to continue in the longer term. Treatment with biologics should be considered sooner rather than later in the management of AS.