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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2000;8 Suppl A:S38-40.

Session 2: clinical aspects. Clinical assessment of hand OA.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Veterans Administration Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore, 21201, USA. mhochber@umaryland.edu


The aim of the session was to discuss the current definitions of and criteria for hand osteoarthritis (OA) and to review the tools proposed for the clinical assessment of hand OA in research and trials. The American College of Rheumatology criteria for the classification and reporting of hand OA were discussed and their limitations noted; specifically, they are designed for symptomatic OA and based on physical examination. The differences between erosive and non-erosive hand OA were discussed as was the relationship between hand OA and generalized OA, since hand OA represents a generalized OA of hand joints and can be considered as a marker for developing generalized OA (i.e. OA at other sites). Different clinical tools to assess patients were presented and discussed, such as pain assessment, Dreiser's functional index or Bellamy's AUSCAN for function assessment, assessment of the mobility, stiffness, inflammation and aesthetic damages. The agreements, disagreements and further studies to be performed to answer questions still debated are presented.

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