Objectives To assess the impact of spinal angles on clinical and imaging features of suspicion of axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA).
Methods The DESIR cohort is a prospective longitudinal cohort study of adults aged 18–50 with inflammatory back pain (IBP) ≥3 months, ≤3 years. Baseline lateral lumbar radiography of patients included in DESIR cohort were read by two central blinded fellow readers (and a rheumatologist spine specialist in case of discrepancy) for Sacral Horizontal Angle (SHA), Lumbosacral angle (LSA) and total Lordotic Angle (TLA) measures. On the basis of literature, patients were classified depending on whether they had TLA more or less than 50°, SHA more or less than 40° or LSA more or less than 15°. Associations between angles and baseline clinical variables, presence of X-Rays (New York) and MRI (ASAS and MORPHO proposal definition) sacroiliitis, presence of spinal signs of spondyloarthritis (mSASSS, BASRI-total, SPARCC scores), presence of spinal degenerative MRI signs on X-rays (yes or no) and MRI (presence of Modic abnormalities, Pfirrmann score, Canal stenosis, Extrusion, High intensity zone Facet osteoarthritis) according to central reading (two readers) and axSpA diagnostic confidence (according to local clinician's confidence on a 0–10 visual analog scale) were assessed by univariate analysis using the chi-square test (or Fisher's exact test where appropriate) and the Mann-Whitney test. Adjustment for multiple testing was performed according to Bonferroni method.
Results Of 708 patients, data were available for 677, 675 and 672 for SHA, LSA and TLA, measures with a mean value of 39.2°, 14.5° and 51.5° respectively. Clinical features and diagnostic confidence did not differ between the SHA, LSA and TLA groups. More sacroiliitis imaging, according to ASAS (41.4% versus 32.0%) and MORPHO definition (48.6% versus 39.3%), were reported in TLA<50° group but the differences did not reach statistical significance. Radiological scores were low with a mean value of 0.49 (±1.83), 0.30 (±0.78) and 4.9 (±9.0) for mSASSS, BASRI-total and SPARCC score, respectively, and no inter-group difference was found. In L5S1, more grade 3 and 4 Pfirrmann class and MODIC discopathy (types 1 and 2) were observed for SHA <40°, and TLA <50° (p<0.001) whereas the difference did not reach the significance level for LSA<15° (p=0.05) (table).
Conclusions Lumbar spine morphology is not associated with any clinical variable, presence on X-Rays or MRI of spinal signs of spondyloarthritis or sacroiliitis. At the L5S1 level, a more horizontal SHA and a reduction of TLA is associated with more degenerative radiological lumbar spine manifestations.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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