Classification and clinical assessment

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A. Marchesoni *
F. Cantini
(*) Corresponding Author:
A. Marchesoni | marchesoni@gpini.it

Abstract

There are at least nine classification criteria for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) that have been proposed and used in clinical studies. With the exception of the ESSG and Bennett rules, all of the other criteria sets have a good performance in identifying PsA patients. As the CASPAR criteria are based on a robust study methodology, they are considered the current reference standard. However, if there seems to be no doubt that they are very good to classify PsA patients (very high specificity), they might be not sensitive enough to diagnose patients with unknown early PsA. The vast clinical heterogeneity of PsA makes its assessment very challenging. Peripheral joint involvement is measured by 78/76 joint counts, spine involvement by the instruments used for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), dactylitis by involved digit count or by the Leeds dactylitis index, enthesitis by the number of affected entheses (several indices available) and psoriasis by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). Peripheral joint damage can be assessed by a modified van der Heijde-Sharp scoring system and axial damage by the methods used for AS or by the Psoriatic Arthritis Spondylitis Radiology Index (PASRI). As in other arthritides, global evaluation of disease activity and severity by patient and physician and assessment of disability and quality of life are widely used. Finally, composite indices that capture several clinical manifestations of PsA have been proposed and a new instrument, the Psoriatic ARthritis Disease Activity Score (PASDAS), is currently being developed.

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