DoM in the Media: First Referral Guide Issued for Axial Spondyloarthritis
SAN DIEGO — The Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network (SPARTAN) has created the first referral recommendations for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA).
The draft recommendations use a points scoring system, with the goal that at least 1 in 3 patients referred would be diagnosed with axSpA, an inflammatory arthritis that affects the central skeleton and shares a genetic overlap with skin psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and inflammatory eye disease.
Patients with axSpA can wait 10 years after symptom onset to be diagnosed with the condition. There are currently no guidelines to advise clinicians on when to refer to a rheumatologist, and with the rheumatology workforce shortage, “it is impossible for rheumatologists to evaluate the 20% of adults in the US who have chronic back pain,” said Maureen Dubreuil, MD, a rheumatologist at Boston University. She presented the work at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2023 Annual Meeting.