Low bone mineral density of vertebral lateral projections can predict spinal radiographic damage in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

  • Ji-Won Kim
  • Min Kyung Chung
  • Jennifer Lee
  • Seung-Ki Kwok
  • Wan-Uk Kim
  • Sung-Hwan Park
  • Ji Hyeon JuEmail author
Original Article



To investigate the association between bone mineral status and spinal radiographic damage in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and determine whether bone mineral status can predict further spinal radiographic damage after 2 years.


Bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine (anteroposterior and lateral projections), femoral neck, and total hip and trabecular bone score (TBS) of the lumbar spine were measured in AS patients (n = 54) who fulfilled the modified New York criteria. Spinal radiographic damage was scored on cervical and lumbar spine radiographs using modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spinal Score (mSASSS) at baseline and after 2 years. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to examine predictors of spinal radiographic damage.


Patients with advanced AS exhibited low BMD on lumbar spine lateral projections, femoral neck, and total hip and low TBS. Low vertebral bone mass at baseline, assessed by BMD of the lateral projections or TBS, was independently associated with baseline mSASSS. After 2 years, mSASSS change from baseline was significantly associated with high baseline mSASSS, high baseline erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and low baseline BMD of the lumbar spine lateral projections. The best predictive model for spinal radiographic progression consisted of baseline mSASSS, baseline CRP, and low BMD of lateral lumbar spine (area under curve = 0.826).


BMD at vertebral lateral projections and TBS were inversely associated with baseline mSASSS in AS patients. Low BMD at vertebral lateral projections, as well as baseline mSASSS and inflammatory markers, might predict spinal radiographic damage in AS.

Key Points

Vertebral bone mineral density of lateral projections and trabecular bone score are inversely associated with baseline mSASSS in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

Baseline mSASSS, inflammatory markers, and low vertebral bone mineral density might predict spinal radiographic progression in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.


Ankylosing spondylitis Bone density Disease progression Osteoporosis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Informed consent was obtained from the study participants. This study was approved by the ethics committee of Seoul St. Mary’s hospital, the Catholic University of Korea (KC15OISI0012) and was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.



Supplementary material

10067_2019_4743_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (258 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 257 kb)


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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji-Won Kim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Min Kyung Chung
    • 3
  • Jennifer Lee
    • 1
  • Seung-Ki Kwok
    • 1
  • Wan-Uk Kim
    • 1
  • Sung-Hwan Park
    • 1
  • Ji Hyeon Ju
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal MedicineCatholic University of Daegu School of MedicineDaeguSouth Korea
  3. 3.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal MedicineEwha Womans University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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