One hundred and twenty-two consecutively hospitalized patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) were reexamined. Ninety-two per cent were HLA B27 positive. Of the HLA B27 negative patients, 60% were found to have psoriasis, as opposed to 11% of the HLA B27 positive patients. Acute anterior uveitis (AAU) was found only in HLA B27 positive patients, and more frequently in males than in females. The genetic and clinical heterogeneity of AS, together with the overlapping clinical criteria for AS and psoriatic spondylitis, may make the term "Bechterew's syndrome" preferable. Based on these findings and previous reports, we conclude that (i) AAU is a manifestation of Bechterew's syndrome in HLA B27 positive patients, (ii) HLA B27 negative patients without any obvious accompanying manifestations may suffer from psoriatic spondylitis, and (iii) genetic predisposition to psoriasis in persons who are HLA B13, B17 and B37 negative, may interact with the genetic predisposition to Bechterew's syndrome in HLA B27 positive persons and produce Bechterew's syndrome with psoriasis or psoriasis-like skin eruptions.