Ankylosing spondylitis (thoracic manifestations)

Last revised by Francis Deng on 5 May 2020

Thoracic manifestations of ankylosing spondylitis can be varied. For a general discussion of the condition refer to the parent article on ankylosing spondylitis.

It can affect the tracheobronchial tree and the lung parenchyma, and the disease spectrum includes:

  • upper lobe fibrocystic changes - fibrobullous disease
    • early involvement may be unilateral or asymmetrical
    • most cases eventually consist of bilateral apical fibrobullous lesions
    • most can be progressive with coalescence of the nodules
    • formation of cysts and cavities, fibrosis, and bronchiectasis can occur
  • lung nodules (uncommon)
  • pleural thickening (uncommon)
  • effects of chest wall restriction

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