A chronic rheumatic disease with multifactorial inheritance. It includes a spectrum of related disorders comprising ankylosing spondylitis, a subset of psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis (e.g. Reiter syndrome), arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease and undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy. These disorders may occur simultaneously or sequentially in the same patient, probably representing various phenotypic expressions of the same disease. Ankylosing spondylitis is the form of rheumatoid arthritis affecting the spine and is considered the prototype of seronegative spondyloarthropathies. It produces pain and stiffness as a result of inflammation of the sacroiliac, intervertebral, and costovertebral joints.
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