Rib cage motion in ankylosing spondylitis patients: a pilot study

Maria Ragnarsdottir*, Arni Jon Geirsson, Bjorn Gudbjornsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Assessment of chest expansion is one of the measures of rib cage mobility recommended as "core set for assessing Ankylosing Spondylitis" (AS). A recently developed instrument for measuring respiratory movements is introduced. Purpose: To compare chest and abdominal wall movements in AS patients with those of controls using a newly developed instrument. Study design: A comparative study. Patient sample: Fourteen male AS patients were invited to the study. All subjects answered a standardized questionnaire concerning general health. Outcome measures: Body height and weight and respiratory movements. Methods: Upper and lower chest wall and abdominal motion was measured bilaterally for a period of 1 minute during deep breathing by using a new instrument based on a laser technique, The Respiratory Movement Measuring Instrument (ReMo, Reykjavík, Iceland). Results were compared to healthy controls matched for age, gender, and body mass index. Results: The patients' mean age was 47±9.5 years, and they had a history of AS for 13±6 years. Their mean BMI was 27±3.6. The respiratory movements of the upper thoracic level were significantly lower than in the reference group (right p=.01, left p=.05). They had, however, a normal range of lower thoracic and abdominal movement and their respiratory movement patterns were symmetrical. Conclusion: The AS patients had reduced upper thoracic movements but normal lower thoracic and abdominal wall movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-509
Number of pages5
JournalSpine Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

Other keywords

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Laser technique
  • Respiratory motion
  • Respiratory Movement Measuring Instrument


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