Ankylosing Spondylitis (Bechterew's Disease): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Ankylosing spondylitis is an arthritis condition in which there is inflammation of the spine. It can also affect tissues throughout the body and result in inflammation and damage to other joints and also to other organs, including the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys. Medical researchers believe ankylosing spondylitis is a genetic (inherited) condition.

Symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis are stiffness and pain in the low back and hips, middle back, and buttocks. Neck pain may also be present. Other associated signs and symptoms can include fatigue, eye inflammation, loss of mobility of the spine over time, inflammation of the lungs leading to shortness of breath, and pain in swelling in other joints outside of the spine. In advanced stages, ankylosing spondylitis can cause deposition of amyloid protein in the kidneys, causing kidney failure.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/31/2019

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