Current ClASsification criteria for Psoriatic ARthritis classification criteria for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) provide a preliminary definition of inflammatory articular disease. This study aimed to further characterize PsA peripheral arthritis using purely data-driven approaches for the affected joint distribution pattern. PsA patients from the Swiss Clinical Quality Management in Rheumatic Diseases (SCQM) database were clustered according to similarities in 66 swollen and in 68 tender joints. Clusters were compared in terms of other disease characteristics and studied for coincidence with traditional PsA subtypes, stability over time and treatment response upon first tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) therapy. Clustering of 957 patients resulted in an oligoarticular, a polyarticular hand dominated, a polyarticular foot dominated and a fourth cluster which was characterized by polyarticular involvement of the hands and feet. Of the traditional PsA subtypes, only a non-PsA-specific oligoarticular joint involvement pattern was retrieved by clustering. When comparing clusters in other disease manifestations, only minor and clinically probably irrelevant differences occurred. Over time, clusters were more robust than traditional PsA subtypes. Patients in different joint clusters had similar response rates upon first anti-TNF-α therapy, and minimal disease activity was achieved in 56% of 285 patients, irrespective of cluster membership. Hypothesis-free approaches to group PsA patients yield clusters with improved consistency, but without clinically important differences. Taken together, the current peripheral arthritis definition by GRAPPA without further specification into subtypes is strongly supported by the data.
Clinical Rheumatology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 22, 2017
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