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Cardiopulmonary manifestations of ankylosing spondylitis.

Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that usually affects young men. Cardiac dysfunction and pulmonary disease are well-known and commonly reported extra-articular manifestation, associated with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). AS has also been reported to be specifically associated with aortitis, aortic valve diseases, conduction disturbances, cardiomyopathy and ischemic heart disease. The pulmonary manifestations of the disease include fibrosis of the upper lobes, interstitial lung disease, ventilatory impairment due to chest wall restriction, sleep apnea, and spontaneous pneumothorax. They are many reports detailing pathophysiology, hypothesized mechanisms leading to these derangements, and estimated prevalence of such findings in the AS populations. At this time, there are no clear guidelines regarding a stepwise approach to screen these patients for cardiovascular and pulmonary complications.

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