Development of Simple Clinical Criteria for the Definition of Inflammatory Arthritis, Enthesitis, Dactylitis, and Spondylitis: A Report from the GRAPPA 2014 Annual Meeting
Rheumatologists are trained to determine the presence of musculoskeletal inflammation through history, physical examination, and if needed, laboratory tests and imaging. However, primary care clinicians, dermatologists, surgeons, and others who may initially see patients with musculoskeletal pain are not necessarily able to make the distinction between inflammatory (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis) and noninflammatory disease (osteoarthritis, traumatic or degenerative tendonitis, back pain, or fibromyalgia). If such clinicians could more readily suspect and identify possible inflammatory musculoskeletal disease, it would lead to more timely diagnosis and triage to rheumatologists for diagnosis and appropriate management. The Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) has been developing evidence-based, practical and reliable criteria that can be used by clinicians to identify inflammatory musculoskeletal disease. The research initiative involves a sequential process of expert clinician nominal group technique, patient focus groups, and Delphi exercises to identify core definitive features of inflammatory disease. The goal is to develop simple clinical criteria (history and physical examination elements) to identify inflammatory arthritis, enthesitis, dactylitis, and spondylitis and distinguish these from degenerative, mechanical, or other forms of these conditions, to achieve more timely and accurate diagnosis and referral of patients with inflammatory arthritis.
School of Medicine