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German researchers have recently reported that patients with ankylosing spondylitis, detected by MRI is predictive of major response to anti-TNF therapy with etanercept or infliximab

German researchers have recently reported that patients with ankylosing spondylitis, detected by MRI is predictive of major response to anti-TNF therapy with etanercept or infliximab

Dr. Martin Rudwaleit of Deutsches Rheumaforschungszentrum hospital in Berlin and his colleagues examined Magnetic Resonant Images (MRI) from various patients with active disease. Out of these patients 46 had inflammatory lesions in spine, around 40 in the sacroiliac joints and twenty six had inflammation at both sites.

The researchers evaluated patient factors which lead to an improvement in the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index by at least 50% (BADSAI 50). All these findings are published in the September month’s issue of “Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases”.

After around twelve weeks of treatment, twenty five of the forty six patients with spinal MRI achieved BADSAI 50 response. The research team also determined that the Berlin MRI spine score, a valid indicator of inflammation, was highly significant predictor of the disease. The other significant predictor was disease duration.

The C-reactive protein level too showed some trend towards reaching significance. In this too MRI scored for the sacroiliac joints.

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