Treatment of spondyloarthropathies. Recent advances and prospects in 2001

Joint Bone Spine. 2001 Dec;68(6):557-63. doi: 10.1016/s1297-319x(01)00328-1.


The management of patients with spondyloarthropathy is undergoing radical changes in several areas and for several reasons. The main reason seems to be improved awareness of the fairly high prevalence of this group of disorders, which is close to that of rheumatoid arthritis. Evaluation of the various treatment modalities has benefited from work by the international Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis group (ASAS) group aimed at developing standardized evaluation criteria. Controlled treatment trials have provided useful information on non-pharmacological treatments such as physical exercise programs and patient information. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) remain the cornerstone of the pharmacological treatment. Recent studies have shown that NSAIDs capable of selectively inhibiting type 2 cyclooxygenase have a better gastrointestinal safety profile and are as effective in relieving clinical symptoms as conventional NSAIDs. Importantly, maintenance treatment seems effective not only on peripheral joint manifestations but also on axial manifestations that fail to respond to NSAIDs. Thalidomide and TNF antagonists are promising maintenance agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Rheumatology / trends*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / therapy*
  • Thalidomide / therapeutic use
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Thalidomide