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Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 May;72(5):736-40. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201706. Epub 2012 Jun 23.

High prevalence of psoriatic arthritis in patients with severe psoriasis with suboptimal performance of screening questionnaires.

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Department of Rheumatology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin, 4, Ireland.



The objectives of this study were to: (1) assess the prevalence of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) among Psoriasis (Ps) patients attending dermatology clinics; (2) identify clinical predictors of the development of PsA; and (3) compare the performance of three PsA screening questionnaires: Psoriatic Arthritis Screening and Evaluation (PASE), Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool (PEST) and Toronto Psoriatic Arthritis Screening (ToPAS).


Patients were divided into two groups: Group-1, consecutive psoriasis patients attending dermatology clinics with no known diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis and Group-2, consecutive patients attending rheumatology clinics with a confirmed diagnosis of PsA. In Group-1, patients completed the screening questionnaires, followed by a full rheumatological evaluation whether or not they reported musculoskeletal symptoms.


200 patients were recruited with 100 in each group. In all, 84% of patients in dermatology group were using systemic therapy for their skin disease, and 99% of patients in rheumatology group were on systemic immunosuppressives. In Group-1, 29% of patients were diagnosed with PsA after rheumatological evaluation. On univariate and multivariate analyses, there was a significant positive association between Psoriasis Area and Severity Index and a new diagnosis of PsA (p=0.046). Different patterns of joint involvement were noted in patients with newly diagnosed PsA versus patients with established PsA with fewer polyarticular disease presentations (p=0.0001). In Group-1, the PEST, PASE and ToPAS assessments had sensitivities of 27.5%, 24% and 41%, and specificities of 98%, 94% and 90%, respectively. In Group-2, the sensitivities were 86%, 62% and 83%, respectively.


29% of Ps patients attending dermatology clinics had undiagnosed PsA. Psoriasis severity was associated with a new diagnosis of PsA. Poor sensitivities for the screening questionnaires were noted due to inadequate detection of patterns of arthritis other than polyarticular disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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