Background Spondylodiscitis is a rare but well-known complication of ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of spondylodiscitis and to determine the clinical and radiological appearance in a group of patients with AS.
Methods Thirty-two patients with a mean age of 36.4 ± 11.4 years were recruited to the study. Demographical, clinical and radiological characteristics of the patients were recorded. Bone scintigraphic evaluation and computerised tomography (CT) of the suspected lesions were determined.
Results Five (15.6%) patients had radiographic abnormalities including irregular narrowed disc space borders and sclerosis of the adjent vertebral bodies in the thoracic and lumbar regions. All these patients had low back pain the clinical activity parameters were higher in 3 (9.3%) of 5 patients. No fracture or pseudoarthrosis were observed. Technetium scan showed increased uptake in the vertebral disc space and vertebral end plates (L4–5, T12-L1) in 2 (6.2%) of 5 patients and only 1 (3.1%) of them had typical CT findings including widening, irregularity and sclerosis at the L4–5 intervertebral space.
Conclusion Spondylodiscitis may have variable clinical or radiological manifestations and imaging techniques are needed to identify this uncommon complication in patients with AS.
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