Pulmonary involvement in ankylosing spondylitis

Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Feb;26(2):225-30. doi: 10.1007/s10067-006-0286-2. Epub 2006 Mar 30.


This is a prospective study analyzing 52 asymptomatic, consecutive patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), who submitted to a pulmonary investigation that included plain chest radiography, pulmonary function test (PFT), and thoracic high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT). The results were compared according to sex, race, dorsal spine involvement, thoracic diameter, smoking status, and HLA-B27. There were four patients (8%) with an altered plain chest radiograph. PFT presented a restrictive pattern in 52% of the patients. Thoracic HRCT showed abnormalities in 21 patients (40%), predominantly nonspecific linear parenchymal opacities (19%), lymphadenopathy (12%), emphysema (10%), bronchiectasis (8%), and pleural involvement (8%). Linear parenchymal opacities were associated with a smoking history (p=0.026) and dorsal spine involvement (p=0.032). HLA-B27 was not associated with any abnormality. A lower thoracic diameter was observed in patients with dorsal spine involvement (p=0.0001), restrictive pattern at PFT (p=0.023), and linear parenchymal opacities (p=0.015). The study concluded that nonspecific subclinical pulmonary involvement is frequent in AS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / complications*
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / complications*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / pathology
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed