AxSpA can be classified into two subgroups: radiographic axSpA, commonly referred to as AS, and non-radiographic axSpA (nr-axSpA). The primary difference between these two subgroups is the presence or absence of defined structural changes in the SIJ as detected on plain radiography. Although patients with nr-axSpA do not fulfil the modified New York criteria for AS , their burden of disease is similar  and they may derive as much benefit from treatment as patients with established AS.
NICE has accredited the process used by the BSR to produce its treatment of axial spondyloarthritis with biologics guidance. Accreditation is valid for 5 years from 10 June 2013. More information on accreditation can be viewed at www.nice.org.uk/accreditation. For full details on our accreditation visit: www.nice.org.uk/accreditation.
This revision of the 2005 BSR guidelines  provides evidence-based guidance for UK clinicians prescribing biologic drugs for adult patients across the spectrum of axSpA. This includes the criteria for starting treatment, the choice of drug and assessing response to treatment. Peripheral spondyloarthritis and juvenile SpA are outside the scope of these guidelines, and readers are referred to the BSR 2012 guidelines for the management of PsA .
- ankylosing spondylitis
- axial spondyloarthritis