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Ann Rheum Dis. 2006 Jan;65(1):20-5. Epub 2005 May 18.

Comparison of long term outcome of patients with rheumatoid arthritis presenting with undifferentiated arthritis or with rheumatoid arthritis: an observational cohort study.

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1
Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The outcome of undifferentiated arthritis (UA) ranges from remission to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) fulfilling the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria.

OBJECTIVES:

To report the outcome of UA after 1 year of follow up and compare the disease course of patients who presented with UA, but evolved into RA within 1 year (UA-RA group), with that of patients who presented with RA fulfilling the ACR criteria (RA-RA group).

METHODS:

The diagnosis of 330 patients who presented with UA was recorded at 1 year. The UA-RA and RA-RA groups were then followed up for 3 more years. Outcome measurements were radiographic progression, disease activity, and functional capacity.

RESULTS:

From 330 patients who were diagnosed UA, 91 had evolved into RA at 1 year; 62 patients had presented with RA. No significant differences were detected between the UA-RA and RA-RA groups in median Sharp/van der Heijde score at baseline, radiographic progression rates, disease activity, and functional capacity. However, significantly more disease modifying antirheumatic drugs were prescribed in the RA-RA group.

CONCLUSION:

The disease outcome of patients who present with UA that evolves into RA within 1 year is the same as that of patients who present with RA as measured by radiographic progression, disease activity, and functional capacity.

PMID:
15901632
PMCID:
PMC1797989
DOI:
10.1136/ard.2005.038471
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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