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Ankylosing Spondylitis, Ophthalmologic Perspective (cont.)

HLA-B27 Gene

A specific gene for the HLA-B27 tissue type is present in many people who have ankylosing spondylitis. Of people with ankylosing spondylitis, most also have the gene for HLA-B27. This does not mean, however, that a person will automatically get ankylosing spondylitis if he or she has the gene. Although a small percentage of Americans have the gene for HLA-B27, less than 1% of the population actually has or will develop ankylosing spondylitis. However, if a person is thought to have ankylosing spondylitis, a blood test is useful to determine if that person has the gene for HLA-B27.

In the early stages of ankylosing spondylitis, determining a definite diagnosis is sometimes difficult. If a person has the specific signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis and he or she has the gene for HLA-B27, the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis is likely correct.

AS Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis is made on the basis of a history, a physical exam, X-ray films, and laboratory tests.

A cure for ankylosing spondylitis does not currently exist; however, effective treatment options can relieve pain and improve a person's condition. The general approach to treatment includes medication, physical therapy, and exercise.

Surgery may be necessary to treat problems caused by ankylosing spondylitis in the spine and other joints of the body.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/29/2014

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Ankylosing Spondylitis »

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic, progressive inflammatory disorder primarily affecting the axial skeleton.

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