Ankylosing spondylitis

Related article: Arthritis

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A form of arthritis, AS is characterized by chronic inflammationThe complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli such as pathogens or damaged cells. It is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue., causing pain and stiffness of the back, progressing to the chest and neck. Eventually, the whole back may become curved and inflexible if the bones fuse (this is known as “bamboo spine”). AS is a systemic disorder that may involve multiple organs, such as the:

  • eye (causing an inflammation of the iris, or iritis)
  • heart (causing aortic valve disease)
  • lungs
  • skin (causing a scaly skin condition, or psoriasis)
  • gastrointestinal tract (causing inflammation within the small intestine, called ileitis, or inflammation of the large intestine, called colitis)

Less than 1% of the population has AS; however, 20% of AS sufferers have a relative with the disorder.


HLA-B27 a blood test to look for a protein that is found on the surface of white blood cells. The protein is called human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27).

Immune suppression

Injections used in standard medical treatment are seriously immune suppressant Certolizumab , Adalimumab , Infliximab

Doctor's report on MP treatment

Blaney: congress on autoimmunity 2010

Case 1 is ankylosing spondylitis in a now 50 year old male. Onset was at the age of 26, initially as sacroiliitis. It progressed in a typical fashion with increasing rigidity of the spine, fusion of cervical facet joints, pain and fatigue. He also developed co-morbid conditions including chronic prostatitis, neuropathy, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia and depression. He was unable to work full time. He started treatment December 2005.

He experienced waxing and waning of symptoms both physical and emotional through the first 3 years of treatment, peaking in mid 2007. Presently he is no longer depressed and is back working full time in international finance. His prostatitis has cleared as has his IBS. Bone density increased 11% in his femur and 5% in his lumbar vertebrae over the last 2 years. His Bath Ankylosing spondylitis Disease Activity Index which had risen from 8.8 to 9.2 is now 5.3.

Evidence of infectious cause

BACKGROUND: Increased levels of collagen types I, III and V are found in strictures of patients with Crohn's disease (CD) compared with normal gut tissue. Type IV collagen is present in the basement membranes, basal lamina, retina and cornea. Elevated levels of antibody to Klebsiella pneumoniae are found in both active CD and active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients compared with healthy controls.

METHODS: Reactivities for immunoglobulin class-specific antibodies (IgM, IgG and IgA) against collagen types I, III, IV, V and whole K. pneumoniae were measured by ELISA in nine patients with early CD and 10 with late CD from King's College Hospital and 12 late CD patients and 36 HLA-B27-positive AS patients from Middlesex Hospital and was compared with values for 26 healthy controls from the Blood Transfusion Service in London.

RESULTS: Levels of class-specific IgM, IgG and IgA antibodies to collagen types I, III, IV, V and K. pneumoniae were significantly elevated in early and late CD patients compared with healthy controls (P<0.001). Levels of IgM, IgG antibody to the four collagen types and K. pneumoniae were also significantly elevated (P<0.001) in AS patients compared with healthy controls. In addition, the level of IgA antibody to K. pneumoniae was elevated in AS patients (P<0.001). Furthermore, a positive correlation between antibody levels to collagen types I, III, IV and K. pneumoniae was demonstrated in both early and late CD patients and in those with AS, whilst a positive correlation to type V was found in early CD.

CONCLUSION: The role of K. pneumoniae and anti-collagen antibodies in the aetiopathogenesis of CD and AS requires further study. 1)

Dysbiosis and zonulin upregulation alter gut epithelial and vascular barriers in patients with ankylosing spondylitis


The prevalence rate of hip involvement in AS patients varies from 10 to 23%, depending on the type of hip assessment. TNF-α blocking therapy significantly improved tender hip joints, and inflammatory US lesions including positive power Doppler. 2)

Patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) warrant a comprehensive clinical assessment because of the lack of biomarkers of disease activity, prognosis and response to biologic therapy. Multiple AS-related questionnaires have been developed to assess the disease status accurately, but feasibility remains a problem in clinical practice.

The Bath Ankylosing Disease Activity Index remains the gold standard for assessing disease activity in a routine practice, despite poor correlation with C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and MRI inflammation. 3)

TNF inhibitor dose

In patients with ankylosing spondylitis in clinical remission for at least 6 months, dose reduction is non-inferior to full TNF inhibitor doses to maintain LDA after 1 year. Serious adverse events may be less frequent with reduced doses. 4)

Patient responses

I got the obligatory bone scan at age 50 along with hip and neck xrays and sure enough they told me I had that the osteoporosis…. osteoarthritis and the ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS !!! All that was prescibed was Fosamax…. and it seemed to excerbate the th1 symptoms. Lee

I was on Fosamax for 2 years, which lead to acid reflux and the need for Prilosec. My primary doc was obviously wrong then, as I believe he is now when he recommends 1000mg of Vitamin D daily. Been there and done that already with very bad results. I don't argue with my doc, but I make my own educated health decisions. Most of our current medical insight seems to be blinded by the “sunshine vitamin syndrome” Jasmine

D-free calcium

I have found an orange juice with calcium and NO D! I also found a lactose fat free milk (LandOLakes) D free ….with calcium. It is called Dairy Ease. Perfect for this lactose intolerant, D free, calcium deficient

I do fair better with fortified calcium foods than I do calcium supplements! I tend to get pains in my back if I take more than 800 mgs of calcium daily in pill form. But I am determined to get my bones stronger

The findings from this study indicated that even short-term oral use of alendronate led to ONJ in a subset of patients after certain dental procedures were performed. These findings have important therapeutic and preventive implications. 5)

Oral bisphosphonate use and the prevalence of osteonecrosis of the jaw 6)

===== Notes and comments =====

look in https://www.marshallprotocol.com/search.php?s=1&q=Ankylosing+spondylitis&forum_id=35



  • legacy content

Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Nov;60(11):3519-20; author reply 3520-1.

Time to prove the infective etiology of ankylosing spondylitis and related spondylarthritides: Comment on the article by Carter et al.7)

Zeidler H, Rihl M. Comment on: Arthritis Rheum. 2009 May;60(5):1311-6. PMID: 19877074

Time to prove the infective etiology of ankylosing spondylitis and related spondylarthritides: comment on the article by Carter et al To the Editor: We read with interest the recent article by Carter et al, which described an increased frequency of Chlamydia-positive synovial tissue samples, as determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), in patients with chronic undifferentiated spondylarthritis (uSpA) (1). This observation is a major step forward in elucidating the etiology of uSpA but is most likely also relevant for the whole spectrum of SpA. Currently, reactive arthritis is accepted as being associated with chlamydial infections and other enteric and sexually acquired infections. However, the causative role of microbes in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is still a matter of debate, although urogenital tract infections and, more recently, Chlamydia trachomatis, have long been implicated as causative agents in AS.

As early as 1926, Visher (2) observed evidence of “osteoarthritis” in the spine or sacroiliac joints of 55% of young patients with chronic prostate infection. In 1953, Romanus reported signs of chronic prostatovesiculitis in 102 of 114 cases of AS (2). In 1960, these and other findings led to the suggestion that there is a true relationship between chronic urogenital tract infection and AS, even though the definite causal relationship has not been established (2). Later, Ford formulated the hypothesis that one agent may cause different clinical syndromes, and that a single syndrome may be attributable to many infectious agents (3). More recently, studies including patients with AS revealed an increased frequency of C trachomatis infection, as determined by investigation of the urogenital tract (4), and serologic analysis, including immunoblotting (5,6). Another study, however, in which screening for C trachomatis infection was performed using commercially available DNA amplification assays in urine specimens, did not reveal a higher prevalence in patients with AS compared with male control subjects in the same age group (7). In view of these conflicting findings, it would be of interest to learn more about Chlamydia-specific serologic testing and investigation of the urogenital tract in the patients with uSpA described by Carter et al.

The fact that AS may develop in patients with uSpA suggests that these entities share a common etiology. One study of patients with possible AS revealed a rate as high as 36% among patients in whom definite AS developed within a 10-year followup period (8). In addition, it was shown most recently that clinical manifestations and disease activity measures are highly comparable between patients with early nonradiographic axial SpA and those with early AS, suggesting that these 2 entities are part of the same disease (9). Fourteen of the patients (i.e., 88% of all patients with available radiographs) described by Carter et al had asymmetric grade 2 or grade 3 sacroiliitis at the time of study entry (1). Patients with unilateral grade 3 sacroiliitis fulfill the modified New York criteria for AS (10). Moreover, the clinical characteristics of the selected patients with uSpA have many signs and symptoms in common with reactive arthritis such as history (23%) or active keratoderma blennorrhagicum (15%) and history (13%) or active circinate balanitis (6%) (1). It would be of great interest to learn how many synovial tissue samples obtained from these patients were Chlamydia-positive, because chronic reactive arthritis may develop in patients with AS.

Furthermore, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) constitutes another candidate for investigations on the etiologic role of chlamydial infections. Silveira et al (11) performed a prospective study determining the prevalence of C trachomatis infection in patients with SpA, which demonstrated a significant frequency of positive urogenital C trachomatis culture (22%) as well as elevated levels of IgG antibodies (36%) or IgM antibodies (14%) against C trachomatis in patients with PsA. Using optimized PCR testing, we recently detected C trachomatis in synovial fluid samples from patients with PsA (12). Moreover, using the same PCR technique, we identified C trachomatis in the sacroiliac joint of a patient with PsA and human immunodeficiency virus infection who was HLA–B27– positive and had bilateral grade 2 sacroiliitis; this patient presented with acute posturethritis reactive arthritis and acute unilateral sacroiliitis, as determined by magnetic resonance imaging (13). Taken together, these findings indicate the possibility that C trachomatis is involved in the etiology of PsA in at least some patients.

In conclusion, it is time to determine definite proof of an infective, especially a chlamydial, etiology of AS and related SpA. Technologies are now available to enlarge the prevalent body of clinical, immunologic, and genetic studies. A concerted program of investigation by rheumatologists, microbiologists, and other researchers in the field is urgently needed. The chances to prove an infective etiology are higher than ever before.

Supported by the German Competence Network in Rheumatology, Berlin. Henning Zeidler, MD Markus Rihl, MD Hannover Medical School Hannover, Germany 1. Carter JD, Gerard HC, Espinoza LR, Ricca LR, Valeriano J, Snelgrove J, et al. Chlamydiae as etiologic agents in chronic undifferentiated spondylarthritis. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60:1311–6. 2. Ankylosing spondylitis and urogenital infection. Br Med J 1960;1: 865–6. 3. Ford DK. One syndrome: many infectious agents. J Rheumatol 1987;14:650–2. 4. Lange U, Teichmann J. Ankylosing spondylitis and genitourinary infection. Eur J Med Res 1999;4:1–7. 5. Csango PA, Upsahl MT, Romberg O, Kornstad L, Sarov I. Chlamydia trachomatis serology in ankylosing spondylitis. Clin Rheumatol 1987;6:384–90. 6. Kihlstrom E, Gronberg A, Bengtsson A. Immunoblot analysis of antibody response to Chlamydia trachomatis in patients with reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Scand J Rheumatol 1989;18:377–83. 7. Van der Paardt M, van Denderen JC, van den Brule AJ, Morre SA, van der Horst-Bruinsma IE, Bezemer PD, et al. Prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis in urine of male patients with ankylosing spondylitis is not increased. Ann Rheum Dis 2000;59:300–2. 8. Mau W, Zeidler H, Mau R, Majewski A, Freyschmidt J, Stangel W, et al. Clinical features and prognosis of patients with possible ankylosing spondylitis: results of a 10-year followup. J Rheumatol 1988;15:1109–14. 9. Rudwaleit M, Haibel H, Baraliakos X, Listing J, Marker-Hermann E, Zeidler H, et al. The early disease stage in axial spondylarthritis: results from the German Spondyloarthritis Inception Cohort. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60:717–27. 10. Van der Linden S, Valkenburg HA, Cats A. Evaluation of diagnostic criteria for ankylosing spondylitis: a proposal for modification of the New York criteria. Arthritis Rheum 1984; 27:361–8. 11. Silveira LH, Gutierrez F, Scopelitis E, Cuellar ML, Citera G, Espinoza LR. Chlamydia-induced arthritis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am 1993;19:351–63. 12. Freise J, Bernau I, Meier S, Zeidler H, Kuipers JG. Optimized molecular biology testing for C. trachomatis in synovial fluid samples in clinical practice [submitted for publication]. 13. Rihl M, Wagner AD, Bakhsh KA, Rosenthal H, Bernateck M, Kohler L, et al. Detection of chlamydial DNA in the inflamed sacroiliac joint of a patient with multiple infections. J Clin Rheumatol 2009;15:195–7.

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