Italian evidence-based recommendations for the management of ankylosing spondylitis: The 3E Initiative in rheumatology

Salvatore D'Angelo, Angela Padula, Angelo Nigro, Fabrizio Cantini, Marco Matucci-Cerinic, Vittorio Modena, Leonardo Punzi, Carlo Salvarani, Raffaele Scarpa, Ignazio Olivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The 3E (Evidence, Expertise, Exchange) Initiative is a multinational effort of rheumatologists aimed at developing evidence-based recommendations addressing specific questions relevant to clinical practice. The objective of the Italian part of the 3E Initiative was to develop new recommendations designed to help italian rheumatologists in everyday clinical practice management of patients suffering from ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Methods: An international scientific committee selected a set of questions concerning the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of AS using a Delphi procedure. Evidence-based answers to each question were sought by a systematic literature search in MedLine for papers published up to August 2006. A panel of 55 Italian rheumatologists with expertise in the field of AS used the evidence thus gathered to develop recommendations, filling gaps in evidence with their expert opinion. Results: After discussion and votes, the panel developed 12 statements/ recommendations: 3 concerning diagnosis (low back pain approach, early diagnosis, and GPs referral recommendations); 3 concerning monitoring (disease activity, severity, and prognosis), and 6 concerning treatment (bisphosphonates role; treatment of enthesitis; inter-agent safety/ efficacy, long-term safety/efficacy, efficacy on different disease manifestations, and the role on inflammatory bowel disease flare precipitation of NSAIDs/COX-II inhibitors). Conclusion: Italian recommendations for the management of AS in everyday practice were developed. Their dissemination and implementation in daily clinical practice should help to improve practice uniformity and eventually optimize the management of AS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1011
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Evidence-based
  • Expert opinion
  • Management
  • Recommendations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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