OBJECTIVE: To study differences in pain reports between patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA), and to assess how pain sensitivity measures associate with disease and health outcomes.

METHODS: Consecutive patients with axial SpA (axSpA) were enrolled in the population-based SPARTAKUS cohort (2015-2017) and classified as AS (n = 120) or nr-axSpA (n = 55). Pain was assessed with questionnaires (intensity/duration/distribution) and computerized cuff pressure algometry to measure pain sensitivity (pain threshold/pain tolerance/temporal summation of pain). Linear regression models were used to compare pain measures between patients with AS and nr-axSpA, and to assess associations between pain sensitivity measures and disease and health outcomes.

RESULTS: Of 175 patients with axSpA, 43% reported chronic widespread pain, with no significant differences in any questionnaire-derived or algometry-assessed pain measures between patients with AS and nr-axSpA. Lower pain tolerance was associated with longer symptom duration, worse Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score using C-reactive protein (ASDAS-CRP), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index, and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index (BASMI), more pain regions, unacceptable pain, worse Maastricht AS Enthesitis Score (MASES), fatigue, anxiety, and health-related quality of life. Further, lower pain threshold was associated with worse ASDAS-CRP and MASES, whereas higher temporal summation was associated with longer symptom duration, unacceptable pain, and worse BASMI.

CONCLUSION: Chronic pain is common in axSpA, with no observed differences in any pain measures between patients with AS and nr-axSpA. Further, higher pain sensitivity is associated with having worse disease and health outcomes. The results indicate that patients with AS and nr-axSpA, in line with most clinical characteristics, have a similar pain burden, and they highlight large unmet needs regarding individualized pain management, regardless of axSpA subgroup.

Sidor (från-till)1672-1679
TidskriftThe Journal of rheumatology
Tidigt onlinedatum2021
StatusPublished - 2021

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Reumatologi och inflammation


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