nr-axSpA: Out of the Shadows, Into the Light

November 12, 2022 from 12:30 pm 1:15 pm EST

Sergio Schwartzman, MD, will present an interactive program providing insight into the challenges and misconceptions surrounding the diagnosis of non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA).

  • A case-based approach will be employed to allow an exploration of practical considerations in the diagnostic process
  • The importance of collaboration between rheumatology and radiology in the diagnosis of nr-axSpA will be highlighted

Non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) affects up to 1.7 million individuals in the US.1-3 However, lingering confusion regarding the nature and diagnosis of this disease results in a prolonged, frustrating journey for patients as they search for an underlying cause of their symptoms.4 This is reflected in an average of 5 to 8 years between symptom onset and diagnosis, with up to 65% of those with nr-axSpA currently undiagnosed.5-8 Throughout this diagnostic journey, patients with nr-axSpA experience a disease burden similar to that of other rheumatic diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.9,10 And the longer their journey, the more patients and their families suffer— and the greater the likelihood of sacroiliitis progression.11,12 It is thus critical for rheumatologists to narrow this diagnostic gap to allow appropriate treatment in a timely manner. This promotional program is sponsored by UCB, and the speakers will be compensated for the presentation of this educational information. This is not an official function/event of the American College of Rheumatology.


  1. Reveille JD. Am J Med Sci. 2011;341(4):284-286.
  2. Baraliakos X, Braun J. RMD Open. 2015;1(suppl 1):e000053.
  3. United States Census Bureau. US and World Population Clock. Accessed June 3, 2022.
  4. Kiwalkar S, Deodhar A, Howard R. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020;72(suppl 10). Accessed June 2, 2021. accurate-diagnosis-of-non-radiographic-axial-spondylarthritis-nr-axspa/
  5. Seo MR, Baek HL, Yoon HH, et al. Clin Rheumatol. 2015;34(8):1397-1405. doi:10.1007/s10067-014-2768-y
  6. Masson Behar V, Dougados M, Etcheto A, et al. Joint Bone Spine. 2017;84(4):467-471. doi:10.1016/j.jbspin.2016.06.005
  7. Sykes MP, Doll H, Sengupta R, Gaffney K. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015;54(12):2283-2284. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kev288
  8. Data on file. UCB, Inc., Smyrna, GA.
  9. Mease PJ, van der Heijde DV, Karki C, et al. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018;70(11):1661-1670. doi:10.1002/acr.23534
  10. Mease PJ, Liu M, Rebello S, Kang H, Park Y, Greenberg J. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018;70(suppl 10). Accessed September 19, 2022. arthritis-psoriatic-arthritis-and-axial-spondyloarthritis-data-from-the-corrona-rheumatoid- arthritis-and-psoriatic-arthritis-spondyloarthritis/
  11. Garrido-Cumbrera M, Navarro-Compán V, Bundy C, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020;79(suppl 1):1134-1135. Annual European Congress of Rheumatology abstract SAT0374. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-eular.4293

Torgutalp M, Rodriguez VR, Proft F, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2022;74(9):1515-1523. doi:10.1002/art.42144