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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2011, Article ID 728471, 6 pages
Review Article

Cardiopulmonary Manifestations of Ankylosing Spondylitis

1Rheumatology Division, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2150 Pennsylvania Avenue, 3-416 NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA
2Internal Medicine Division, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20052, USA

Received 20 November 2010; Revised 21 January 2011; Accepted 9 February 2011

Academic Editor: Kenneth C. Kalunian

Copyright © 2011 Mahnaz Momeni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that usually affects young men. Cardiac dysfunction and pulmonary disease are well-known and commonly reported extra-articular manifestation, associated with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). AS has also been reported to be specifically associated with aortitis, aortic valve diseases, conduction disturbances, cardiomyopathy and ischemic heart disease. The pulmonary manifestations of the disease include fibrosis of the upper lobes, interstitial lung disease, ventilatory impairment due to chest wall restriction, sleep apnea, and spontaneous pneumothorax. They are many reports detailing pathophysiology, hypothesized mechanisms leading to these derangements, and estimated prevalence of such findings in the AS populations. At this time, there are no clear guidelines regarding a stepwise approach to screen these patients for cardiovascular and pulmonary complications.