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Progression of hand osteoarthritis over 2 years: a clinical and radiological follow-up study
  1. S Botha-Scheepers1,
  2. N Riyazi1,
  3. I Watt2,
  4. F R Rosendaal3,
  5. E Slagboom4,
  6. N Bellamy5,
  7. F C Breedveld1,
  8. M Kloppenburg1
  1. 1
    Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  3. 3
    Departments of Clinical Epidemiology and Haematology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  4. 4
    Department of Molecular Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  5. 5
    Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  1. Dr M Kloppenburg, Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Rheumatology, C1-R, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands; g.kloppenburg{at}


Objectives: To investigate the course of hand osteoarthritis over 2 years by currently available outcome measures.

Methods: 189 participants of the Genetics, Arthrosis and Progression (GARP) study with hand osteoarthritis were followed for 2 years. Self-reported hand pain and functional limitations were assessed with the Australian/Canadian osteoarthritis hand index (AUSCAN LK 3.0). Pain intensity upon lateral pressure in the interphalangeal and thumb base joints was graded on a four-point scale. Osteophytes (0–3) and joint space narrowing (JSN) (0–3) was scored at baseline and after 2 years in interphalangeal and thumb base joints. Standardised response means (SRM) were calculated.

Results: 172 (91%) patients completed the 2-year follow-up (mean age 60.5 years, 78.5% women). Statistically significant increases in self-reported pain and function scores, in pain intensity scores as well as in osteophyte and JSN total scores were seen over 2 years. SRM were 0.25, 0.23, 0.67, 0.34 and 0.35, respectively, for self-reported pain and function scores, pain intensity scores, osteophyte and JSN total scores. Radiological progression was not associated with changes in self-reported pain and function. Women in an early post-menopausal stage were especially at risk of progressing radiologically.

Conclusions: Currently available outcome measures were able to assess progression over the relatively short time period of 2 years. Radiographic outcomes were more responsive than self-reported outcomes. Pain intensity upon lateral pressure seems to be a responsive measure but needs validation.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This work was funded by Pfizer Inc, Groton, Connecticut, USA.

  • Ethics approval: The GARP study was approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of the Leiden University Medical Centre.

  • Patient consent: Obtained.

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