Delays in Diagnosis of Axial Spondyloarthritis Save
The diagnosis of axial spondyloarthritis (and anklylosing spondylitis) (axSpA) is often delayed and usually not diagnosed by rheumatologists; a recent metanalysis shows that longer delays were attributable to lower education levels, younger age at onset and absence of extra-articular manifestations (EAMs). Diagnostic delays may have significant clinical implications as prolonged delays may results in poorer outcomes, functional impairment and altered quality of life.
Researchers found tht from 64 included studiesl, the mean diagnostic delay in axSpA patients was 6.7 years (95% CI 6.2, 7.2) with high levels of heterogeneity.
Diagnostic delay intervals did not appear to improve over time when stratifying year of publication. Longer delays were seen in high-income countries than those from middle-income countries. The pooled estimate for diagnostic delay from 8 PsA studies was significantly shorter, at 2.6 years (95% CI 1.6, 3.6).
These findings represent a significant challenge that must be met through education and focused public health measures.