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May 25
UCB Statement on Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis ICD-10 Sub-Category Update

Atlanta, Georgia, – May 25, 2021 – Today, UCB issued the following statement from Jeffrey Stark, M.D., Head of U.S. Medical Immunology, on the recent update by the ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee to endorse the creation of a new sub-category (M45.A) for non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA). These changes will be effective for diagnoses starting October 1, 2021:

“This new sub-category is solely intended to capture people living with nr-axSpA and is an exact parallel of the existing ankylosing spondylitis (AS) category (M45), recognizing nr-axSpA as an established and legitimate condition. We’re pleased with the Committee’s decision regarding these important diagnostic codes, and appreciate the collaboration of rheumatology community partners who collectively contributed to this change. 

Because these codes will be highly specific, they will allow for more accurate identification of patients in real-world clinical databases. This will enhance the quality of data available for disease-related research, measuring outcomes and care provided to patients, and clinical decision-making. Most importantly, we hope this will help people living with nr-axSpA receive the early and accurate diagnosis, recognition and treatment they need.”


About Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis 

A chronic inflammatory condition, nr-axSpA mainly affects the spine and sacroiliac joints and is often undiagnosed and not appropriately treated. In nr-axSpA, definitive evidence of the disease is not evident on an x-ray. Disease onset typically begins in early adulthood and causes chronic and debilitating back pain, stiffness and fatigue, often having a profound impact on patients’ lives.