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Anaesthesia


Title:Ankylosing spondylitis: recent developments and anaesthetic implications
Author(s):Woodward, L. J. Kam, P. C.
Address:Department of Anaesthetics, University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia.
Year:2009 May
Journal Title:Anaesthesia
Page Number:540-8
Language:eng
Volume:64
Issue:5
ISSN/ISBN:1365-2044 (Electronic). 0003-2409 (Linking)
Abstract:Ankylosing spondylitis can present significant challenges to the anaesthetist as a consequence of the potential difficult airway, cardiovascular and respiratory complications, and the medications used to reduce pain and control the disease. There is also an increased risk of neurological complications in the peri-operative period. Awake fibreoptic intubation is the safest option in those patients with a potentially difficult airway as it allows continuous neurological monitoring while achieving a definitive airway. Neurophysiological monitoring (somatosensory and motor evoked potentials) should be considered in patients undergoing surgery for cervical spine deformity. The medical management of the disease has improved with the use of anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha agents. There is potential for increased wound infection in patients taking these drugs. This article reviews the anaesthetic issues in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. The challenge to the anaesthetist is in the understanding of these issues so that appropriate management can be planned and undertaken.

 
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