Spondyloarthritis is a group of several related but phenotypically distinct disorders: psoriatic arthritis, arthritis related to inflammatory bowel disease, reactive arthritis, a subgroup of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis (the prototypic and best studied subtype). The past decade yielded major advances in the recognition of spondyloarthritis as an entity, the classification of the disease, and understanding of the genetic and pathophysiological mechanisms of disease-related inflammation and tissue damage. In parallel, new clinical and imaging outcomes have allowed the assessment of various therapeutic modalities. Blockers of tumour necrosis factor are a major therapeutic advance, but the exact roles of physiotherapy, and treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other biological treatments are unknown. The major challenges with direct relevance for clinical practice for the next decade are the development of techniques for early diagnosis, therapeutic modulation of structural damage, and, ultimately, induction of long-term, drug-free remission.
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