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How is axial spondyloarthritis diagnosed?

Axial spondyloarthritis, or axial spa for short, is diagnosed based on symptoms. If someone else in the family has a similar arthritis, then that makes axial spa more likely too. Unfortunately, no single test can tell if it’s axial spa for sure.

X-rays are pictures that let the doctors see what’s going on inside the joints, but in axial spa they may be normal early on. An MRI scan is like an x-ray, but takes more detailed pictures. This means it shows inflammation in the bones earlier. Doctors might also do a blood test. Even if the tests do not tell if it’s axial spa for sure, doctors can still start treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.