Costovertebral and costotransverse joint involvement in spondyloarthritis


International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, vol.26, no.11, pp.2141-2150, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1756-185x.14873
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.2141-2150
  • Keywords: chest expansion, costotransverse, costovertebral, manubriosternal, spondyloarthritis, sternoclavicular
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: Costovertebral (CV), costotransverse (CTr), sternoclavicular (SC), and manubriosternal (MS) joints are impacted in spondyloarthritis (SpA) patients; however, clinical aspects of these involvements require additional evaluation. Methods: A total of 281 SpA patients who had undergone chest computed tomography (CT) for any reason between 2010 and 2020 were included in the study. SpA patients were divided into three groups, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), non-radiographic axial SpA, and psoriatic arthritis. Thirty age- and sex-matched rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and 30 non-rheumatic disease individuals were selected for comparison. An experienced radiologist reviewed 24 CV, 20 CTr, 2 SC, and 1 MS joints from a thorax CT for each patient. All joints were classified as: normal (0); suspicious (1), mild (2), moderate (3), or severe (4). Results: Total CV and CTr joint scores differed between diseases (p <.001). Male AS patients had higher CV and CTr scores than female AS patients (male CV score: 52 [range 0–96] and CTr score: 22 [range 0–80]; female CV score: 20 [range 0–96] and CTr score: 12 [range 0–79]). Strong negative correlations were detected in AS patients between chest expansion and CV (r = −0.703 p =.007) and CTr (r = −0.763 p =.002) joint involvement; positive correlations between CV and CTr joints, and modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spinal Score (p <.05); and no significant association for MS and SC joints. Conclusions: CV and CTr joint involvement on thorax CT was more severe in AS and negatively affected chest expansion. The use of thorax CT scans performed for other indications in the examination of these joints may be advantageous for the early beginning of rehabilitation programs targeted at maintaining chest mobility.