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19-04-2016 | Axial spondyloarthritis | Review | Article

ASAS classification criteria for axial spondyloarthritis: time to modify

Clinical Rheumatology

Authors: Nurullah Akkoc, Muhammad A. Khan

Publisher: Springer London


The relationship between ankylosing spondylitis and the recently proposed entity called axial spondyloarthritis with its radiographic and non-radiographic forms that have been defined by the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society (ASAS) criteria for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), is currently being debated. The Food and Drug Agency (FDA) had criticized the ASAS criteria and the studies which used these criteria to enroll patients in a clinical trial of certolizumab and adalimumab for the treatment of non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. The primary aim of classification criteria is to create homogenous patient populations for basic and clinical research. But the multi-arm construct of the ASAS criteria is a potential source of heterogeneity reducing their utility. Criteria sets should be regarded as dynamic concepts open to modifications or updates as our knowledge advances. We provide evidence to conclude that it is time to modify the ASAS Criteria for axSpA, and we propose some of the steps that can be taken to start moving forward in improving the validity of these criteria.

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