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New way of classifying rheumatoid arthritis aimed at identifying the disease earlier
Date:8/10/2010

ng synovitisthe inflammation of the synovial membrane, which lines a jointin at least one joint, and no other possible diagnosis that might better explain the symptoms (such as lupus or gout).

"To be classified as having 'definite RA,' patients must receive a score of six or greater (out of a possible 10)," explains Alan Silman, MD who initiated the project. "The scoring system takes into consideration the number and site/size of involved joints, laboratory tests of inflammation and auto-immunity, and symptom duration."

Researchers continue to make great strides in RA research. The creation of this new set of classification criteria is expected to further accelerate the research being done in this field. The next logical step, according to Dr. Hawker, is to use these classification criteria as the basis for the development of diagnostic criteria for RA, for use by practicing rheumatologists.

"Under the correct circumstances, new knowledge resulting from rheumatology research can quickly move into applicable treatments for patients," explains ACR President Stanley B. Cohen, MD. "We believe these new classification criteria will open the door to more meaningful studies of RA and will eventually lead to changes in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. This is an important step for RA researchers, practicing rheumatologists and patients."


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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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