Spinal Radiographic Progression in Early Axial Spondyloarthritis: Five-Year Results From the DESIR Cohort

Sofia Ramiro, Désirée Van Der Heijde, Alexandre Sepriano, Miranda Van Lunteren, Anna Moltó, Antoine Feydy, Maria Antonietta D'Agostino, Damien Loeuille, Maxime Dougados, Monique Reijnierse, Pascal Claudepierre

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To analyze the progression of spinal radiographic damage in patients with early axial spondyloarthritis (SpA). Methods: Axial SpA patients from the DESIR (Devenir des Spondylarthropathies Indifférenciées Récentes) cohort with 5-year spinal (cervical and lumbar) radiographs available (n = 549) were included. Two- and 5-year modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS) progression and development of new syndesmophytes (net change: the number of patients with positive change minus the number of patients with negative change divided by the total number of patients) were assessed in subgroups defined at baseline according to the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society axial SpA criteria and its arms, modified New York criteria (mNYC) and the presence of syndesmophytes. Results: Mean ± SD mSASSS progression was 0.2 ± 0.9 at 2 years and 0.4 ± 1.8 at 5 years. Five-year progression was higher in the imaging arm (mean ± SD 0.6 ± 2.3), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)+/mNYC+ (mean ± SD 1.3 ± 4.0), than in the clinical arm only (mean ± SD 0.1 ± 0.7), and highest in patients with syndesmophytes (mean ± SD 2.7 ± 5.0). At 5 years, 7% of all patients had a net change of any new syndesmophyte; this value was 10% for the imaging arm (mNYC+/MRI+ with 18%), 17% for mNYC+ patients, and 42% for patients with syndesmophytes. Conclusion: Spinal radiographic progression, although limited in early axial SpA, can be captured after 2 years. Inflammation and damage in the sacroiliac joint are associated with higher radiographic progression. The presence of baseline syndesmophytes already strongly predicts the development of further structural damage early in the disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1678-1684
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Adult
  • Cervical Vertebrae
  • Disease Progression
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spondylarthritis


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