Patients' Perspectives on Axial Pain in Relation to Inflammation and Structural Damage in a Large Cohort of Axial Spondyloarthritis Patients

Anne Kampman, Freke Wink, Davy Paap, Marlies Carbo, Mark Siderius, Stan Kieskamp, Fiona Maas, Anneke Spoorenberg, Suzanne Arends*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to explore to what extent patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) link experienced pain in the neck, back, and hips to inflammation and/or structural damage.

METHODS: Patients from the Groningen Leeuwarden Axial Spondyloarthritis (GLAS) cohort visiting the outpatient clinic between 2016 and 2019 filled out two additional questions in relation to the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) question 2: (1) "To what extent do you think the pain you experience in your neck, back, and hips is related to inflammation caused by axSpA?" and (2) "To what extent do you think the pain you experience in your neck, back, and hips is related to damage of the spine and joints caused by axSpA?" Answers had to be depicted on a numeric rating scale from 0 (none) to 10 (very much); a difference of ≥2 points between the scores of these questions was considered clinically relevant in favor of the highest scoring question.

RESULTS: A total of 688 patients with axSpA (24% with nonradiographic axSpA [nr-axSpA]) were included (62% male, mean ± SD age 48 ± 14 years, and mean ± SD Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score [ASDAS] 2.3 ± 1.0). Seventy-five percent of patients could not link the origin of their pain, 15% linked axial pain predominantly to inflammation, and 10% linked axial pain predominantly to damage. Patients in the inflammation group were younger, had shorter symptom duration, were more frequently diagnosed with nr-axSpA, had higher ASDAS CRP , had more often elevated CRP levels, had fewer comorbidities, had better spinal mobility, and had less spinal radiographic damage.

CONCLUSION: In our large observational cohort, the majority of patients with axSpA could not differentiate the origin of experienced axial pain. If patients were able to link axial pain to clinical inflammation or damage, it was in concordance with clinical assessments and radiographic outcome, which may be helpful in establishing the origin of pain and supporting better patient-centered treatment decisions.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftArthritis Care & Research
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2-okt.-2023

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