A set of scores to identify inflammatory arthritis (IA) in at-risk persons have been developed and may be useful in both clinical care and trial settings for the identification of low- or high-risk IA cases. The scores and their development processes are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers from Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds, and Leeds Biomedical Research Centre-NIHR developed simple and comprehensive scores to predict IA in at-risk persons. They developed the scores using an observational cohort study of 455 persons with new musculoskeletal symptoms, a positive test for anticitrullinated protein antibodies, and no clinical synovitis and followed for 48 weeks or more, or until IA occurred. The authors found that their simple score identified 249 low-risk participants with a false negative rate of 5 percent. They also found that their comprehensive score identified 119 high-risk participants with a false-positive rate of 29 percent. The authors clarify that the simple score is reproducible, economical, and practical for use in primary care with good negative predictive value of the low-risk group, who may not require referral to secondary care. They add that in comparison, the comprehensive scores identify a high-risk population for intervention studies and for clinical management.