Objective: To analyze the spectrum of the lung parenchyma changes in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) with high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and correlate the findings with disease duration. Material and methods., Twenty patients (18 male, 2 female) with the diagnosis of AS according to New York criteria were included in the study. None of the patients had history of tuberculosis, prolonged inorganic dust exposure and hospitalization for pneumonia. Seven of the patients were smokers, three patients were exsmokers, and 10 patients were nonsmokers. The patients were assigned to three groups depending on disease duration. Group 1: patients with disease duration less than or equal to 5 years (it: four patients), group 2: patients with disease duration greater than or equal to 6 years but less than or equal to10 years (n: four patients), group 3: patients with disease duration greater than or equal to 11 years (n: 12 patients). HRCT and pulmonary function tests (PFT) were performed in all patients. Results: HRCT demonstrated pathology in 17 patients (85%). Two patients in group 1, 4 patients in group 2 and 11 patients in group 3 had pulmonary parenchyma changes. Emphysema (9/20), septal thickening (9/20) and pleural thickening (9/20) were the most common changes followed by nodule (8/20) and subpleural band formation (7/20). Three patients had apical fibrosis (AF). Septal and pleural thickening (both 4/10) were the most common changes when only nonsmokers were considered. Among nine patients with emphysema three were nonsmokers. Conclusion: There is a wide spectrum in pulmonary parenchyma changes in AS. These changes begin in early stages of the disease and increase with disease duration. Although smoking complicates the spectrum of changes in pulmonary parenchyma, they are predominately in the form of interstitial inflammation. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.