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Based on the proven benefits of early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), at present, strategies are being applied to rapidly identify patients with arthritis. However, in an early phase, outcome of arthritis is variable. Several tests were used to elaborate the differential diagnosis. In the Leiden Early Arthritis Clinic, performance of chest x-ray (CXR) is part of the standard screening procedure. Its value can be twofold: improving differential diagnosis and/or resulting in a higher chance of survival due to earlier recognition of a malignancy.1,–,3 Although in these cases a CXR is crucial, the diagnostic value of CXR as a standard screening procedure is unclear. Therefore, the results of all conventional CXRs performed in 2170 patients subsequently included in the Leiden Early Arthritis Clinic between 1993 and 2009 …
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Patient consent was obtained.
Ethical approval Ethics approval was obtained from the medical ethics committee of Leiden University Medical Center.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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