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Clin Rheumatol. 2007 Feb;26(2):225-30. Epub 2006 Mar 30.

Pulmonary involvement in ankylosing spondylitis.

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Unit of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, State University of Campinas Faculty of Medical Sciences (FCM / UNICAMP), Barão Geraldo, Campinas SP, CEP 13081-970, Brazil.


This is a prospective study analyzing 52 asymptomatic, consecutive patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), who submitted to a pulmonary investigation that included plain chest radiography, pulmonary function test (PFT), and thoracic high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT). The results were compared according to sex, race, dorsal spine involvement, thoracic diameter, smoking status, and HLA-B27. There were four patients (8%) with an altered plain chest radiograph. PFT presented a restrictive pattern in 52% of the patients. Thoracic HRCT showed abnormalities in 21 patients (40%), predominantly nonspecific linear parenchymal opacities (19%), lymphadenopathy (12%), emphysema (10%), bronchiectasis (8%), and pleural involvement (8%). Linear parenchymal opacities were associated with a smoking history (p=0.026) and dorsal spine involvement (p=0.032). HLA-B27 was not associated with any abnormality. A lower thoracic diameter was observed in patients with dorsal spine involvement (p=0.0001), restrictive pattern at PFT (p=0.023), and linear parenchymal opacities (p=0.015). The study concluded that nonspecific subclinical pulmonary involvement is frequent in AS.

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