The Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) handbook:
a guide to assess spondyloarthritis.
J Sieper, M Rudwaleit, X Baraliakos, J Brandt, J Braun, R Burgos-Vargas, M Dougados,
K-G Hermann, R Landewé, W Maksymowych and D van der Heijde
Ann Rheum Dis 2009;68;ii1-ii44
The field of spondyloarthritis (SpA) has experienced major progress in the last decade, especially with regard to new treatments, earlier diagnosis, imaging technology and a better definition of outcome parameters for clinical trials. In the present work, the Assessment in SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) provides a comprehensive handbook on the most relevant aspects for the assessments of spondyloarthritis, covering classification criteria, MRI and x rays for sacroiliac joints and the spine, a complete set of all measurements relevant for clinical trials and international recommendations for the management of SpA. The handbook focuses at this time on axial SpA, with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) being the prototype disease, for which recent progress has been faster than in peripheral SpA. The target audience includes rheumatologists, trial methodologists and any doctor and/or medical student interested in SpA. The focus of this handbook is on practicality, with many examples of MRI and x ray images, which will help to standardise not only patient care but also the design of clinical studies.