This disease is a chronic inflammatory arthritis which effects the axial skeleton. It is seronegative, meaning there is no rheumatoid factor (circulating IgG antibody). Ankylosing spondylitis mainly affects the spine and sacroiliac joints.
This arthritic disease causes chronic inflammation of the spine. Some patients experience eventual fusion of the vertebrae and complain of rigidity of the spine. Radiologic imaging in this scenario shows fusion which is termed "bamboo spine."
Human leukocyte antigen B27 is strongly associated with inflammatory diseases known as spondyloarthropathies, including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and Reiter's syndrome.
Roughly 40% of patients with ankylosing spondylitis also experience uveitis, which is inflammation of the anterior chamber of the eye. Patients complain of eye redness, pain, photophobia and vision loss.
Though less commonly associated, many patients also experience aortic regurgitation with ankylosing spondylitis.
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