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The average delay in axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) diagnosis after symptom onset is one of the longest among inflammatory rheumatic diseases.1 New tools, such as magnetic resonance imaging,2 have been developed to reduce this delay. Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) has been incorporated as one of the features for Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) SpA criteria,3 and in the Berlin diagnostic algorithm.4 However, CRP levels are elevated in only a minority of early SpA patients.5 More sensitive tests, so-called high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), have been developed and can detect lower concentrations of CRP compared with traditional methods.6 HsCRP levels are increased in other rheumatic chronic inflammatory diseases,7 and show a better correlation with disease activity parameters compared with routine CRP in patients with axSpA.8 Therefore, hsCRP could be more sensitive than traditional CRP in diagnosing axial SpA. The aim of this study was to assess the contribution of hsCRP versus CRP to classification of early axSpA using the ASAS criteria.
Baseline data …