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Diagnosis and TCM Treatment of Ankylosing Spondylitis
Addtime:2013-12-20 10:07:06 Hit:4465

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton with variable involvement of peripheral joints and nonarticular structures. AS is a form of spondyloarthritis, is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune disease. It mainly affects joints in the spine and the sacroiliac joint in the pelvis, and can cause eventual fusion of the spine. It is a member of the group of the spondyloarthropathies with a strong genetic predisposition. Complete fusion results in a complete rigidity of the spine, a condition known as "bamboo spine".

There is no direct test to diagnose AS. A clinical examination, MRI and X-ray studies of the spine, which show characteristic spinal changes and sacroiliitis, and a simple genetic marker blood test are the major diagnostic tools. A drawback of X-ray diagnosis is the signs and symptoms of AS have usually been established as long as 8–10 years prior to X-ray-evident changes occurring on a plain film X-ray, which means a delay of as long as 10 years before adequate therapies can be introduced. Options for earlier diagnosis are tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the sacroiliac joints, but the reliability of these tests is still unclear. The Schober's test is a useful clinical measure of flexion of the lumbar spine performed during examination.

Variations of the HLA-B gene increase the risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis, although it is not a diagnostic test. Those with the HLA-B27 variant are at a higher risk than the general population of developing the disorder. HLA-B27, demonstrated in a blood test, can occasionally help with diagnosis, but in itself is not diagnostic of AS in a person with back pain. Over 95% of people that have been diagnosed with AS are HLA-B27 positive, although this ratio varies from population to population (only 50% of African American patients with AS possess HLA-B27, and it is close to 80% among AS patients from Mediterranean countries). In early onset disease HLA-B7/B*2705 heterozygotes exhibited the highest risk for disease.

Chinese medicine is safe and effective in treating ankylosing spondylitis. TCM gives every patient the special and individual treatment instead of dealing with them as a group. Herbs with less side-effect make multi-target invention to the disorder. A number of hospital in Beijing have reported the validity and safety of TCM in treating ankylosing spondylitis through their clinical practice and research with scientific methods.

Specialist Introduction

Dr. Xiaojia Liu, Chief doctor, Professor, the Vice Chairman of rheumatology professionals of Liaoning Province, Committee of Liaoning Province Integrative Rheumatology Association, is specially good at treating rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, systemic scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease and other autoimmune diseases including gout and chronic gastritis, chronic atrophic gastritis, bile reflux gastritis, ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal disorders and other digestive diseases.

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