Background Andresson lesions could cause debilitating pain and functional impairment in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients.
Objectives The objective of this study was to identify the characteristics of Andersson lesions using whole spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in AS.
Methods A total of 62 patients with AS who had taken whole spine MRI were retrospectively enrolled in this study. Regional distribution in the entire spine and within the individual discovertebral unit (DVU) including the central, peripheral, and diffuse disc types of Andersson lesion was assessed. We compared the number of DVUs with Andersson lesion with clinical and radiographic indicies such as erythrocyte sediment rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), BASDAI, BASFI, and modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS).
Results Fifty-three patients (85.5%) had at least one Andersson lesion. We found a total of 129 DVUs with Andesson lesions (9.0%) in the entire spine levels. Andersson lesion at the lower thoracic spine (from T7–8 to T12-L1) was most commonly detected than other spine levels. Among the total 151 Andersson lesions, 41 lesions were identified at the central, 26 lesions at the anterior peripheral, 44 lesions at the posterior peripheral, and 40 lesions at the diffuse disc types. However, the number of Andersson lesions did not correlate with ESR, CRP, BASDAI, BASFI, and mSASSS in AS patients (p>0.05 of all).
Conclusions Our study indicates that presence of Andersson lesion in AS patients is clearly underestimated. MRI provides more increased opportunity to detect earlier Andersson lesions than conventional radiography.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared