What is the presentation of spondylodiscitis in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy (USpA)?

Updated: Jul 17, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence H Brent, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Spondylodiscitis (also referred to as Andersson lesion) is a destructive discovertebral lesion with an estimated symptomatic prevalence of 1-10% in patients with AS. [77, 78] The prevalence in asymptomatic patients is unknown.

The etiology of spondylodiscitis is debatable. Some authors argue that these lesions are the result of mechanical factors, whereas others believe that the inflammation caused by AS is the source. Each of these possible etiologies is likely capable of producing similar lesions.

Spondylodiscitis can occur at any time, regardless of the severity of AS. Patients generally present with acute-onset localized pain. Pain is exacerbated with movement and is alleviated with rest. These symptoms can be easily differentiated from the normal pain pattern of AS, which is insidious in onset and relieved with motion.


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