One of the most characteristic features of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) is bone formation in the spine (syndesmophytes). Syndesmophytes may occur at any time during the course of the disease, are more frequent in patients with radiographic axSpA (AS) than in those with non-radiographic axSpA, and are best seen on conventional X-rays of the spine. Currently, it is suggested that (low-radiation) CT-scanning of the spine provides a better (more sensitive) picture of developing syndesmophytes than conventional X-rays.
Syndesmophytes matter in that they interfere with spinal mobility and physical function independent of inflammation. As such, it makes sens to try and prevent their occurrence or to inhibit their progression.
It is a matter of debate whether current available treatments are able to inhibit syndesmophyte growth or occurrence. Part of the debate is the methodological challenges related to measuring syndesmophyte progression properly.
In this lecture I will address current issues related to inhibition of syndesmophyte formation in patients with axial SpA.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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