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Pregnancy may occur in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory joint disease. This disease, which is included in the group of seronegative spondylarthropathies, may be characterized by both intra- and extra-articular manifestations. Although most pregnant patients with ankylosing spondylitis experience normal spontaneous vaginal deliveries, manifestations of the disease may interfere with labor and delivery as well as the administration of general and regional anesthesia. Therefore, physicians caring for a pregnant patient with ankylosing spondylitis should be aware of the obstetric and anesthetic implications and the ramifications of active disease. These patients should be referred to an anesthesiologist early in pregnancy so that the obstetrician and anesthesiologist can together formulate a plan.
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