Objectives The performance of spondyloarthritis (SpA) classification criteria is not well-established in general early arthritis cohorts. Therefore, the authors tested their performance in the Leiden Early Arthritis Clinic (EAC) cohort and assessed whether these criteria can assist rheumatologists in diagnosing patients.
Methods The authors identified all SpA and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients in the EAC cohort according to the diagnosis of the treating rheumatologist. A control group consisting of arthritis patients with other diagnoses was matched to the SpA and PsA patients on gender, age and symptom duration. The authors assessed the fulfilment of SpA criteria in all three groups.
Results Of the patients in the EAC cohort (n=2011), 7.5% was diagnosed with PsA and 3.8% with SpA. In the PsA group, the ClASsification criteria for Psoratic ARthritis (CASPAR) criteria had the highest sensitivity (88.7%). In the SpA group, the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) peripheral SpA and European Spondylarthropathy Study Group (ESSG) criteria had the highest sensitivity (both 48.7%). Specificity of all criteria sets was good: ranging from 88.5% (ESSG) to 100% (Amor).
Conclusions In early arthritis, sensitivity of SpA classification criteria is modest except for the CASPAR criteria in PsA. However, specificity of classification criteria, including the new ASAS-peripheral SpA criteria, is high.
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the local medical ethical committee of the Leiden University Medical Center.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.