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Papers: 16 Sep 2023 - 22 Sep 2023

Basic Science

Human Studies, Neurobiology, Sex Differences

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Neuropathic Pain

2023 Sep 15

Rheumatol Int


A lower frequency of inflammatory back pain in male patients with ankylosing spondylitis compared with female patients.


Kenar G, Yarkan-Tuğsal H, Çetin-Özmen P, Solmaz D, Can G, Önen F


In routine rheumatology practice, we noticed that a significant number of male ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients did not experience inflammatory back pain (IBP). Based on this observation, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of IBP in male AS patients and compare it to that in female patients. Patients with AS who fulfilled the modified New York criteria were subjected to a face-to-face interview with a standardized questionnaire that addressed the IBP components based on the Berlin criteria. The study also included 63 patients with chronic mechanical back pain (MBP). Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured, and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity, Function, and Metrology Indexes (BASDAI, BASFI, and BASMI) were evaluated in patients with AS. There were 181 patients with AS (124 males, mean age 41.2 years; 57 females, mean age 44.6 years) and 63 patients with MBP (28 males, mean age 47.2 years; 35 females, mean age 43.5 years). The prevalence of IBP was found to be 87.7% in female and 66.1% in male patients with AS (p = 0.002). The specificity of the criteria was determined to be high both in females (85.7%) and males (89.2%). Female patients with AS had higher BASDAI levels than males (p = 0.048), but no difference was found in BASFI, BASMI, or serum CRP levels between genders. A considerable proportion of male patients with AS did not experience IBP, although they had similar CRP levels compared with females.