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Could tumour necrosis factor blockers inhibit the progression of future structural damage in ankylosing spondylitis?
  1. N Gašperšič1,
  2. I Serša2,
  3. V Jevtič3,
  4. M Tomšič1,
  5. S Praprotnik1
  1. 1
    Department of Rheumatology, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  2. 2
    Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  3. 3
    Department of Radiology, Medical Faculty, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  1. Nataša Gašperšič, University Medical Centre, Department of Rheumatology, Vodnikova 62, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia; ngaspersic{at}

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We read with great interest the editorial article by Schett et al,1 where the authors discuss the role of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) α blockers in reducing new bone formation in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). They described the pathophysiological process, where TNF-α is a key proinflammatory cytokine, but is also a potent inhibitor of bone formation. Therefore, it is unlikely that TNF-α blockers are effective in reducing syndesmophyte growth and bridging. In other words, would TNF-α blockers inhibit the progression of structural damage even though they are proven to be very efficient in diminishing the clinical parameters of AS activity, acute-phase reactants and also active …

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  • Competing interests: None.