Sacroiliac joint radiographic progression during the first 5 years of the onset of axial spondyloarthritis occurs to an extent related to the degree of inflammation seen on MRI at baseline, according to new findings from 416 French patients in the DESIR cohort.
Maxime Dougados, MD, of Paris Descartes University, and his colleagues found that 15% of patients at baseline met modified New York (mNY) criteria – and therefore had radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (r-axSpA) – and this increased to 20% at 5 years. During the 5-year follow-up, the net percentage of patients who progressed was 5% (those who went from nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis [nr-axSpA] to r-axSpA minus those who regressed from r-axSpA to nr-axSpA). Overall, 13% changed at least one grade on mNY criteria, and if an mNY criteria grade change from zero to one was not considered, only 10% experienced a change in at least one grade. These patients overall had a mean age of 34 years and had inflammatory back pain that had lasted at least 3 months but less than 3 years.
“The association between baseline MRI inflammation and 5-year SIJ damage was consistently found, regardless of the analytical method and the definition of SIJ progression,” the investigators wrote.
The estimated risk for progression by at least one mNY criteria grade varied from as high as 18% in HLA-B27–positive individuals with baseline SIJ inflammation on MRI and elevated C-reactive protein to just 1% in those who were negative for those three variables.
Read the full report online (Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Jul 6. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-211596).