Seropositive AS possible?

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HI all,

?I'm a 40 year old female and I've suffered from worsening back, hip, neck and buttock/sciatic pain for the last two years or more. This year I have developed morning stiffness every day lasting over an hour an a half, which gets better with moderate activity and worsens with rest. I have flare-ups every now and again, where everything hurts a lot more and these can last for weeks.  In that time I've been seen by various specialists, all with no result, and have finally been referred to rheumatology after my RF has come back as elevated, although I believe my other results were normal. For info, my spine MRI states that my lumbar spine shows "endplate change with a hemispherical distribution anteriorly, as can be seen in spondyloarthropathy." However, all my symptoms are  much more like AS than RA and I was wondering whether it is even possible to have AS but have RF? 

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  • Posted


    The stiffness upon waking certainly sounds like AS - have you been seen by the Rheumo yet? Did they test for B27? It is possible to have AS without B27 being present but just makes it easier for diagnosis.

    I know people that have AS alongside other arthritic conditions so there's nothing to say (I believe) that you can't have both RA and AS.

    Are you taking any medication?

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Naomi. Haven't seen a rheumatologist yet - have been referred last week. I'm on nortriptyline & pregabalin for nerve pain, with tramadol when I don't have to work. I have a heart condition so try to avoid NSAIDs. I get flare-ups where the pain is constant and one of those started last week, so I am suffering quite badly. No test for B27 yet. I just want to know what is wrong with me! 😕

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    • Posted

      Bless you - it's very hard, I know.

      I had to take NSAIDs for about ten years before I could move on to other treatment and they were just terrible for my stomach. They are very damaging so it's good in a way that you can't take them.

      Anything like this can be notoriously difficult to get a diagnosis for.

      It might be an idea to arm yourself with as much information as possible for when your Rheumo appointment comes through.

      Ask for the B27 test; keep a diary of your symptoms (if you're anything like me, I am terrible for remembering anything and tend to just answer yes/no to get out of the doctor's office!) - include times of the day/night the pain occurs too. Be firm that you need something for the pain as it is limiting your life. Don't be just brushed off with physio (no offence to physiotherapists but I was sent there before Dr's would diagnose me and they actually did more harm than good).

      In the meantime, just keep doing what I'm sure you are doing already to try to alleviate the pain as best you can - hot showers, heat pads, try limiting starch in your diet, move gently as much as you can. I know it's awful at stupid o clock in the morning when you just can't stay in bed any longer - but you'll get there. Be persistent!


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  • Posted

    AS can be associated with peripheral arthritis and in these cases RF can be positive. Hopefully this wont happen to you.
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