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Will an MRI Detect Ankylosing Spondylitis?

I was told I had AS. I have the same symptoms. But the doctor did the blood test for HLA-B27 and it came back negative. Others have told me not to put a lot of stock in the blood test because a lot of people have AS that test negative. I can't get in to see a rheumatologist until February. The orthopedic doctor has me scheduled for an MRI on my upper back and neck Monday. Will an MRI detect it? Will an orthopedic doctor recognize it?

  1. according to WebMD: an MRI can be one tool to diagnose AS. It is not always necessary to use this tool however. This is the link I referred to:

    I hope that helps.

    rick - moderator

    1. Hey😊🤗. This is an old question. But I just joined this community and just saw it. I’d like to tell you that HL-B27 is just one gene that’s associated with AS, there’s sooo many more. AS Genes: ERAP1, IL23R, ARTS1, IL23R is just some. HL-B27 is just the standardized one they test for and honestly doesn’t mean much. MRI, X-Ray, other bloodwork like ESR, CRP is also accounted. ESR and CRP show inflammation in blood, or acute infection. If your CRP jumps super high all of a sudden over 100 or so chances are you have an infection, virus, whatev. But if it’s continuously showing up high, and on lower levels of high like even 10/20/30 bloodwork after bloodwork that indicates autoimmune inflammatory diseases. It can also indicate heart issues. But if your heart is ok, this is easily tested, ruled out. Then autoimmune is what docs will look at... I’ve googled, researched, omg went to doc after doc on this subject cos I to am HL-B27 negative. But have AS, I have full blown later stages of AS, and was diagnosed late. I now how way more fusion then someone my age cos of late diagnosis and not getting treatment on time. Mostly cos the first rheum I saw went on HL-B27 alone, was very ignorant, even tho at the time I had multiple bone spurs throughout my whole body, and spine and could have been diagnosed on imagining alone!

      This is why I’m writing you, even tho late. Cos I went thru hell with this HL-B27 nonsense. If what I went thru can help one person I’ll feel better. It’s my way of living, helping someone else is the most selfish act I can do. Cos in return it makes me feel good.

      HL-B27 I was told by multiple rheums is a standard testing for North American, American and Britain ancestry. The other genes are present in other ancestors. I have Eastern European genes. So HL-B27 wouldn’t be relevant to me. Unfortunately living in Canada it’s the gene they will be testing. Not the others

      1. Hi ,

        I have heard of a lot of people who tested negative for HLA-B27 that went on to get diagnosed via MRI Scans. I believe this gene is often a sign that the problem may be AS but not everyone with AS necessarily has this gene. In my case my bloods came back positive for HLA-B27 but my doctors told me they still couldn't diagnose it as AS until I had an MRI scan to confirm this.

        I hope your scan goes well and you get some answers soon!

        Wishing you all the best,
        James (Community Member)

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