Early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis: an introduction to the newly designed Iran Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Abstract: More than 14 years of clinical practice in rheumatology led the author to discover the prognostic role of anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) as well as the erosions found by MRI, in detecting the RA patients resulting in establishing a new set of criteria by revising the 1987 ACR classiWcation—Iran Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medical records of 243 patients at the outpatient Rheumatology Clinic of the author (private sector) were reviewed for the data on the criteria of the 1987 ACR, 2010 ACR/European League against Rheumatism (EULAR), and Iran Criteria for RA. In addition to modifying the 1987 ACR classiWcation, Iran Criteria for RA adds some additional information to the ACR criteria (including ACPA and bony erosions detected by MRI), and any patient who satisWes 6 out of 12 points is considered as a deWnite RA patient. Sensitivity of the three classiWcations was calculated considering the clinical diagnosis by a single rheumatologist as the gold standard. A total of 63 male and 180 female patients with a mean follow-up duration of 28.24 § 50.19 months were considered. Mean age at diagnosis and mean disease duration were 49.16 § 15.38 years and 7.04 § 6.87 months, respectively. The sensitivity for Iran Criteria for RA, 1987 ACR classiWcation, and 2010 ACR/ EULAR criteria were calculated as 98.4, 59.7, and 66.3%, respectively. Comparing Iran Criteria for RA with ACR and ACR/EULAR criteria, it was concluded that our newly introduced criteria is a more sensitive instrument in determining RA patients in the early stages of the disease. Keywords Rheumatoid arthritis · Iran Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis · American College of Rheumatology · Rheumatoid factor · Anti-citrullinated protein antibody