Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Research in hand osteoarthritis: time for reappraisal and demand for new strategies. An opinion paper


Background: Osteoarthritis of the hands is a prevalent musculoskeletal disease with a considerable effect on patients’ lives, but knowledge and research results in the field of hand osteoarthritis are limited. Therefore, the Disease Characteristics in Hand OA (DICHOA) initiative was founded in early 2005 with the aim of addressing key issues and facilitating research into hand osteoarthritis.

Objective: To review and discuss current knowledge on hand osteoarthritis with regard to aetiopathogenesis, diagnostic criteria, biomarkers and clinical outcome measures.

Methods: Recommendations were made based on a literature review.

Results: Outcomes of hand osteoarthritis should be explored, including patient perspective on the separate components of disease activity, damage and functioning. All imaging techniques should be cross-validated for hand osteoarthritis with clinical status, including disease activity, function and performance, biomarkers and long-term outcome. New imaging modalities are available and need scoring systems and validation. The role of biomarkers in hand osteoarthritis has to be defined.

Conclusion: Future research in hand osteoarthritis is warranted.

  • ACR, American College of Rheumatology
  • AUSCAN, Australian/Canadian Osteoarthritis Hand Index
  • CMC, carpometacarpal joints
  • DICHOA, Disease Characteristics in Hand OA
  • DIP, distal interphalangeal joint
  • MCP, metacarpophalangeal joints
  • PIP, proximal interphalangeal joint
  • SACRAH, Score for the Assessment and Quantification of Chronic Rheumatoid Affections of the Hands
  • osteoarthritis
  • hand
  • outcome measures
  • biomarkers
  • imaging

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.