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In patients with axial spondyloarthritis, inflammation on MRI of the spine is longitudinally related to disease activity only in men: 2 years of the axial spondyloarthritis DESIR cohort
  1. Victoria Navarro-Compán1,2,
  2. Sofia Ramiro1,
  3. Robert Landewé3,4,
  4. Maxime Dougados5,
  5. Corinne Miceli-Richard5,
  6. Pascal Richette6,7,8,
  7. Désirée van der Heijde1
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital La Paz, IdiPaz, Madrid, Spain
  3. 3Department of Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology, Amsterdam Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Rheumatology, Atrium Medical Center, Heerlen, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Rheumatology, Paris Descartes University, Cochin Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, INSERM: Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, PRES Sorbonne Paris-Cité, Paris, France
  6. 6Université Paris Diderot, UFR médicale, Paris, France
  7. 7APHP Hôpital Lariboisière, Fédération de Rhumatologie, Paris, France
  8. 8Inserm U1132, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Victoria Navarro-Compán, Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, Leiden 2333 RC, The Netherlands; mvictoria.navarroc{at}

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The effects of inflammatory disease activity (DA) on radiographic progression in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) are worse in men and smokers, but an explanation for this is lacking.1 Recently, we have found a relationship between inflammatory lesions in the sacroiliac joints (SIJs) detected by MRI and clinical DA measures in male patients, which was absent in female patients.2 Here, we investigate whether this gender-specific association between MRI-lesions and clinical DA extends to the spine.

The objectives of this study were: (i) to explore the relationship between inflammatory lesions of the spine on MRI and DA in patients with axSpA; (ii) to investigate if such a relationship is gender specific and (iii) to explore the influence of other patient-related factors on the relationship between MRI of the spine and DA.

Two-year follow-up data from 164 patients fulfilling Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) axSpA criteria in the DEvenir des Spondylarthopathies Indifférenciées Récentes (DESIR) cohort with at least two spine MRIs available during this period were analysed.3 ,4

The relationship between MRI-spine and DA (Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), patient’s global DA, night pain, C reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)) was analysed by generalised estimating equations (GEEs) on absolute MRI-spine scores (Berlin …

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  • Contributors VN-C, SR, RL and DvdH designed the study. VN-C and SR performed the statistical analyses. RL, MD and DvdH critically interpreted the results. VN-C wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All authors reviewed the draft version and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This project was supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study is conducted under the umbrella of the French Society of Rheumatology and Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.