Diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis
A diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis is made with the help of an X-ray of the spine. Typically, the appearance has been described as ‘bamboo spine.’ The spinal column is arranged like a stick of bamboo.
During clinical examination, the doctor may attempt to elicit different spinal movements to determine the degree of loss of flexibility associated with ankylosing spondylitis. Other tests may include lung capacity studies. There are no specific laboratory tests that can help diagnose ankylosing spondylitis, though genetic studies have been conducted to determine the presence or absence of the specific gene previously mentioned.
It must be kept in mind that the presence of the HLA B27 gene does not necessarily mean that the person has ankylosing spondylitis.
In certain cases, an MRI of the spine can be useful in diagnosis of the condition.