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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2003;21(3 Suppl 29):S5-8.

Assessment of skin, joint, tendon and muscle involvement.

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  • 1Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


This report makes recommendations for standardized techniques of data gathering and collection regarding: 1) skin involvement 2) joint and tendon involvement, and 3) involvement of the skeletal muscles. The recommendations in this report derive from a critical review of the available literature and group discussion. Committee recommendations are considered appropriate for descriptive clinical investigation, translational studies and as standards for clinical practice. Skin involvement should be assessed using the modified Rodnan skin score. Joint involvement, when symmetric synovitis is present, could be best assessed by the DAS-28 as is utilized in rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical assessment should include a routinized evaluation for the presence and number of palpable tendon friction rubs. Muscle involvement should be screened for by performance of the serum creatine phosphokinase assay and assessment of proximal weakness. More specific testing including EMG, magnetic resonance imaging and muscle biopsy should be employed in those patients with clinically significant myopathy only.

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