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Do patients with axial spondyloarthritis with radiographic sacroiliitis fulfil both the modified New York criteria and the ASAS axial spondyloarthritis criteria? Results from eight cohorts


Background Patients with spondyloarthritis with radiographic sacroiliitis are traditionally classified according to the modified New York (mNY) criteria as ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and more recently according to the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) criteria as radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (r-axSpA).

Objective To investigate the agreement between the mNY criteria for AS and the ASAS criteria for r-axSpA and reasons for disagreement.

Methods Patients with back pain ≥3 months diagnosed as axSpA with radiographic sacroiliitis (mNY radiographic criterion) were selected from eight cohorts (ASAS, Esperanza, GESPIC, OASIS,, SCQM, SPACE, UCSF). Subsequently, we calculated the percentage of patients who fulfilled the ASAS r-axSpA criteria within the group of patients who fulfilled the mNY criteria and vice versa in six cohorts with complete information.

Results Of the 3882 patients fulfilling the mNY criteria, 93% also fulfilled the ASAS r-axSpA criteria. Inversely, of the 3434 patients fulfilling the ASAS r-axSpA criteria, 96% also fulfilled the mNY criteria. The main cause for discrepancy between the two criteria sets was the reported age at onset of back pain.

Conclusion Almost all patients with axSpA with radiographic sacroiliitis fulfil both ASAS and mNY criteria, which supports the interchangeable use of the terms AS and r-axSpA.

  • spondyloarthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • outcomes research
  • epidemiology

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