Comparison of the 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism and the 1987 American Rheumatism Association classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis in an early arthritis cohort in New Zealand.J Rheumatol. 2012 Nov; 39(11):2098-103.JR
To compare the performance of the 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR) criteria with the 1987 American Rheumatism Association (ARA) criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in an early arthritis cohort.
The study included 79 patients with early arthritis (symptoms < 12 months) and a minimum of 1 year of followup between January 2004 and August 2010. Case notes were reviewed to determine which criteria were fulfilled at initial, 3-month, 1-year, and 2-year visits. Requirements for disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy and presence of joint erosions were compared at 2 years.
At the initial visit, twice as many patients fulfilled the 2010 criteria (67%) compared with the 1987 criteria (34%; p < 0.001). Forty-four percent of patients who fulfilled only the 2010 criteria at the initial visit went on to fulfill both 1987 and 2010 criteria at 3 months (p < 0.001). Eight patients did not meet the 1987 RA criteria solely because of short symptom duration. All 17/79 patients who developed joint erosions went on to eventually fulfill both criteria. Of those patients who fulfilled only the 2010 criteria at baseline, 25/27 (93%) ultimately received DMARD therapy compared with 24/26 (92%) of those fulfilling both 1987 and 2010 criteria.
The 2010 ACR/EULAR RA criteria allowed earlier RA classification compared to the 1987 ARA criteria, although both criteria were equivalent in predicting joint erosions and subsequent need for DMARD (Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ANZCTR 12608000292370).