Rheumatology clinic

Ankylosing spondylitis: update on an ancient disease

Andrew L Taylor



This month, Dr Taylor reviews developments in ankylosing spondylitis, including the newer therapies that offer hope for severely affected patients.

Article Extract

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic, systemic, inflammatory rheumatic disease that mainly affects the spine. It is an ancient disease – the Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II is believed to have been a sufferer. The first definite description appeared in 1691, and over the years it has been known by several names, including Bechterew’s disease, Marie Strmpell spondylitis and rheumatoid spondylitis.