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June 13, 1977

Clinical History as a Screening Test for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Calin and Fries), Biostatistics (Ms Porta), and Surgery (Dr Schurman), Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford; and the Arthritis Section, Palo Alto Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, Calif (Dr Calin).

JAMA. 1977;237(24):2613-2614. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270510035017

A controlled study of 138 subjects demonstrated that the clinical history may be sensitive (95%) and specific (85%) in the differential diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis when reliance on five specific historic features is made.

Back pain that is insidious in onset, in a patient younger than 40 years, persisting for at least three months, associated with morning stiffness and improving with exercise is characteristic of inflammatory spinal disease.

(JAMA 237:2613-2614, 1977)