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Validation of the EULAR definition of arthralgia suspicious for progression to rheumatoid arthritis
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Rheumatology.
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2017 (English)In: Rheumatology, ISSN 1462-0324, E-ISSN 1462-0332, Vol. 56, no 12, p. 2123-2128Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives. Recently a EULAR-taskforce defined arthralgia suspicious for progression to RA, in order to allow inclusion of homogeneous sets of arthralgia patients in clinical studies. This longitudinal study aimed (i) to validate this definition in arthralgia patients in whom rheumatologists felt that imminent RA was more likely than other arthralgias [clinically suspect arthralgia (CSA)], that is, the target population fulfilling the entry criterion, and (ii) to explore the performance in arthralgia patients who were referred to secondary care prior to rheumatological evaluation, hence ignoring the entry criterion. Methods. The definition was assessed in 241 Dutch patients identified with CSA by rheumatologists and 113 patients referred to the Umea university hospital with recent-onset arthralgia in small joints. The external reference was arthritis development < 2 years' follow-up. Results. CSA patients with a positive definition (>= 3/7 parameters present) had an increased risk for developing arthritis compared with definition-negative CSA patients (hazard ratio = 2.1, 95% CI: 0.9, 4.7). The sensitivity was 84% and the positive predictive value 30%. In arthralgia patients in whom the definition was applied before rheumatological evaluation, a positive definition was neither sensitive (10%) nor predictive (positive predictive value 3%). Conclusion. The EULAR definition of arthralgia suspicious for progression to RA is sensitive when used to support the rheumatologist's opinion on imminent RA. This validation study shows that the definition, when used as designed, further homogenizes patients that rheumatologists consider at risk for RA. To arrive at a high specificity, the clinical definition needs to be combined with biomarkers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
OXFORD UNIV PRESS , 2017. Vol. 56, no 12, p. 2123-2128
Keywords [en]
rheumatoid arthritis, epidemiology, clinical trials and methods, outcome measures, DMARDs
National Category
Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143007DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kex324ISI: 000416628500017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143007DiVA, id: diva2:1166299
Available from: 2017-12-14 Created: 2017-12-14 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Rantapää-Dahlqvist, Solbritt

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