Help researchers determine best methods of measuring and tracking spinal fusion in ankylosing spondylitis

By Spondylitis Association of America

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The following is an announcement from SAA about a third party clinical trial. SAA is not affiliated with this study, the researchers, or the drug manufacturer.

Better ways to measure spinal fusion are needed to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of medicines in slowing or stopping spinal fusion. This study hopes to answer the question of whether CT scanning of the spine can provide a reliable, valid, and sensitive measure of spinal fusion in ankylosing spondylitis. This observational study will (1) evaluate whether CT scanning is better than regular x-rays for measuring changes in the stiffness and fusion of the spine; and (2) determine if CT scanning can be used to measure the speed of extra bone formation.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older, have a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, and not currently be taking a TNFi medication (etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab), nor plan to take one in the next year. Participants will be asked to schedule a total of 8 clinic visits throughout the 48-month study. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), at NIH, and has two study locations, both in Maryland.

Additional study details below:

  • • Clinical assessment will be conducted at all visits, consisting of taking medical history and a physical examination to include measurement of spinal flexibility, as well as completion of a symptoms questionnaire.
  • • Blood tests will be conducted to measure inflammation.
  • • X-rays of the pelvis, low back, and neck will be taken.
  • • CT scans of the low back will be taken.
  • • MRI of the low back will be taken.
  • • Symptoms questionnaire will be administered by mail every 4 months for a period of 2 years.

Study locations:

  1. John Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland 21205
  2. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
    9000 Rockville Pike
    Bethesda, Maryland 20892

For more information and to enroll, please contact Nancy A Spencer at (301) 827-0186 or email, or Michael M. Ward, M.D. at (301) 496-7263 or email

Please visit the clinical trials study page for additional details.


Learn more about participating in Clinical Studies



Stay Informed



Visit our careers page for available positions

Contact Us

Spondylitis Association of America

16360 Roscoe Blvd.  Ste. 100
Van Nuys, CA 91406


Information Requests

(800) 777-8189 U.S. only
or (818) 892-1616
*Please note: This is not a Crisis Hotline. If you are in a life-threatening crisis, please dial 911 for immediate help in the US. Please follow this link for crisis intervention resources.

Give With Confidence