Purpose of review: To summarize the latest developments in outcome assessment and treatment in ankylosing spondylitis.
Recent findings: A number of clinical and radiological outcome measures used in the assessment of patients with ankylosing spondylitis have recently been critically reappraised and compared, to assist in the interpretation of study results and to guide choices for outcome measures in clinical trials. Clinical tools for assessing spinal mobility, peripheral joint disease and enthesitis, and radiograph and MRI scoring methods have been reviewed for validity and test performance in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Experience with the use of anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha therapies for ankylosing spondylitis continues to grow, and longer term data show these treatments continue to be effective and safe to 5 years of therapy.
Summary: As measurement tools for disease state and progression in ankylosing spondylitis are refined, the assessment of response to therapy improves, with the aim that real effect on structural damage in ankylosing spondylitis may be detected.