NYC Healthcare News

New criteria by ACR for early diagnosis, treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

November 07, 2015

The confirmed presence of synovitis - inflammation of the synovial membrane that lines the joint - in at least one joint The absence of an alternative diagnosis to explain the synovitis, for example gout or arthritis triggered by infection (reactive arthritis) A combined score of 6 or more from each of the following four domains: number and sites of affected joints blood tests results (for autoantibodies indicative of RA) evidence of an increase in inflammatory proteins (known as the acute phase response) how long symptoms have lasted

"The new criteria redefine RA, reflecting our collective hope that in the future, RA will no longer be characterised by erosive joint disease and persistence of symptoms, although these characteristics will continue to define established or longstanding untreated disease," write the working party authors.

The importance of treating RA promptly has been recognised both by NICE (management guidelines for treatment of RA) and the national Audit Office (management of RA).

Source: BMJ-British Medical Journal