Published in

BMJ Publishing Group, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, p. ard-2023-224232, 2023

DOI: 10.1136/ard-2023-224232



Export citation

Search in Google Scholar

ASAS consensus definition of early axial spondyloarthritis

This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

Full text: Unavailable

Green circle
Preprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Postprint: archiving allowed
Red circle
Published version: archiving forbidden
Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


ObjectivesTo develop a consensual definition for the term ‘early axial spondyloarthritis—axSpA’—and ‘early peripheral spondyloarthritis—pSpA’.MethodsThe ASAS (Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society-Spondyloarthritis EARly definition) steering committee convened an international working group (WG). Five consecutive steps were followed: (1) systematic literature review (SLR); (2) discussion of SLR results within the WG and ASAS community; (3) a three-round Delphi survey inviting all ASAS members to select the items that should be considered for the definition; (4) presentation of Delphi results to the WG and ASAS community and (5) ASAS voting and endorsement (2023 annual meeting).ResultsFollowing the SLR, consensus was to proceed with an expert-based definition for early axSpA (81% in favour) but not for pSpA (54% against). Importantly, early axSpA should be based on symptom duration taking solely axial symptoms into account. 151–164 ASAS members participated in the Delphi surveys. Consensus was achieved for considering the following items within early axSpA definition: duration of symptoms ≤2 years; axial symptoms defined as cervical/thoracic/back/buttock pain or morning stiffness; regardless of the presence/absence of radiographic damage. The WG agreed that in patients with a diagnosis of axSpA ‘early axSpA’ should be defined as a duration of ≤2 years of axial symptoms. Axial symptoms should include spinal/buttock pain or morning stiffness and should be considered by a rheumatologist as related to axSpA. The ASAS community endorsed this proposal (88% in favour).ConclusionsEarly axSpA has newly been defined, based on expert consensus. This ASAS definition should be adopted in research studies addressing early axSpA.