The concept of spondyloarthritis: where are we now?

Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2014 Oct;28(5):663-72. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2014.10.007. Epub 2014 Nov 18.


The term spondyloarthritis (SpA) encompasses a group of diseases characterized by inflammation in the spine and in the peripheral joints, and other clinical features such as uveitis, dactylitis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and association with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) B27. The spectrum of SpA encompasses axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) and peripheral spondyloarthritis including psoriatic arthritis (PsA), reactive arthritis (ReA), and inflammatory bowel disease-associated arthritis. In recent years, there has been tremendous progress in understanding the natural history and pathogenetic mechanisms underlying SpA leading to the development of effective treatments. It has become imperative to identify the disease early, and accurately, to avail patients of effective treatments in a safe manner. The development of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS) classification criteria has been a welcome advance in this regard. This article provides a historical evolution of the concept of SpA, from the Rome Criteria to the ASAS criteria, current issues and barriers with the use of ASAS criteria, and the work that still needs to be done moving forward.

Keywords: ASAS classification criteria; Ankylosing spondylitis; Axial spondyloarthritis; Non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Prohibitins
  • Spondylarthritis / classification*