Researchers of a study sought to determine the central sensitization (CS) levels of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) compared to healthy controls (HC), and assess its relationship with disease activity, quality of life (QoL), and sleep quality. The findings appeared in the Irish Journal of Medical Science.

This cross-sectional study comprised of 82 patients with axSpA (mean age, 38, 76.8% men), and 40 healthy volunteers (mean age, 38, 77.5% men). Evaluation parameters in this analysis were defined as visual analog scale (VAS), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS-CRP), Maastricht Ankylosing Spondylitis Enthesitis Score (MASES), Short Form-36 (SF-36), Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI), and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). The population of interest were divided into subgroups based on their CSI scores, which were scored among the respective groups.

The investigators observed that the frequency of severe forms of CS was higher in patients with axSpA compared to healthy controls. They noted that axSpA patients with CS exhibited markedly higher pain, MASES, BASDAI, ASDAS-CRP, and PSQI scores than axSpA patients without CS (p < 0.05). Moreover, the study results demonstrated a close relationship between CS severity and the female gender, pain, disease activity, sleep quality, and QoL among axSpA patients

“Clinical CS is common among axSpA patients. CS adversely affects disease activity, pain, sleep quality, and QoL of axSpA patients. CS should be considered when planning axSpA treatment,” the researchers wrote in conclusion.


Keywords: Axial spondyloarthritis, Central sensitization, Disease activity, Quality of life, Sleep quality