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A potential pitfall in the use of the Disease Activity Score (DAS28) as the main response criterion in treatment guidelines for patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  1. P V Gardiner1,
  2. A L Bell2,
  3. A J Taggart2,
  4. G Wright2,
  5. F Kee3,
  6. A Smyth4,
  7. R McKane4,
  8. J Lee5,
  9. M E Rooney2,
  10. E Whitehead6
  1. 1Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry, N Ireland
  2. 2Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, N Ireland
  3. 3Northern Health and Social Services Board, Antrim, N Ireland
  4. 4Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, N Ireland
  5. 5Craigavon Hospital, Craigavon, N Ireland
  6. 6Antrim Hospital, Antrim, N Ireland
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr P V Gardiner
    Altnagelvin Hospital, Glenshane Road, Londonderry BT47 1SB, N Ireland UK;

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The Disease Activity Score1 is widely used to quantify disease activity and gauge response to treatment. A rather complex calculation conceals the relative contribution of each measure to the composite score. The 28 joint version (DAS28) is used in the British Society for Rheumatology guidelines to determine response to anti-tumour necrosis factor α (anti-TNFα) treatment.2 A reduction in DAS28 of ⩾1.2 is considered significant improvement, as is a reduction in DAS28 score to <3.2. These figures are important, as under current guidelines clinicians are advised to discontinue anti-TNF treatment if either of these criteria is not achieved at 3 months. …

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