Article Text

Download PDFPDF
AB0254 Severity and Improvement of Morning Stiffness Independently Associate with Tenosynovitis in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
  1. Y. Kobayashi1,2,3,
  2. K. Ikeda1,
  3. M. Yamagata1,4,
  4. T. Nakamura1,5,
  5. T. Nakazawa1,6,
  6. S. Tanaka1,
  7. S. Furuta1,
  8. T. Umibe2,
  9. H. Nakajima1
  1. 1Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Chiba University Hospital, Chiba
  2. 2Rheumatology Center, Matsudo City Hospital, Matsudo
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Chiba Aoba Municipal Hospital, Chiba
  4. 4Department of Rheumatology, National Hospital Organization Shimoshizu Hospital, Yotsukaido
  5. 5Research Center for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Asahi General Hospital, Asahi
  6. 6Department of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Clinical Immunology, National Hospital Organization Chiba-East Hospital, Chiba, Japan


Background Morning stiffness has long been recognized by both patients and rheumatologists as a characteristic feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, morning stiffness is no more included in 2010 ACR/EULAR Classification Criteria for RA [1] or in major instruments for evaluating disease activity of RA such as Disease Activity Score (DAS) [2] and 2011 ACR/EULAR Provisional Definition of Remission [3] for the lack of solid evidence for its independent value.

Objectives We aimed to clarify the associations between morning stiffness and synovial inflammation and determine the independent value and the optimal measurement of morning stiffness in patients with RA.

Methods We enrolled 76 consecutive RA patients who underwent musculoskeletal ultrasound and agreed to participate in the study. In addition to asking the duration of morning stiffness, we asked patients to complete a diagram which represents the time course of their morning stiffness in the dominant hand. We also determined the activity of synovitis in 11 joints and tenosynovitis in 8 tendons/tendon compartments in the same hand by using power Doppler (PD) ultrasound with a semiquantitative score (0–3).

Results Study patients were predominated by women (78.9%) with a mean age of 58.4 (SD 14.6) years and a median disease duration of 24 (IQR 8–63.75) months. Rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) had been positive in 84.2% and 77.6%, respectively. For synovitis, swollen/tender joint counts more strongly correlated with total PD scores (ρ=0.379–0.561, p≤0.001) than did any parameters of morning stiffness (ρ=0.217–0.314, p=0.006–0.021) (Table 1). For tenosynovitis, however, the severity on awakening and the improvement of morning stiffness more strongly correlated with total PD scores (ρ=0.503–0.561, p<0.001) than did swollen/tender joint counts (ρ=0.276–0.388, p=0.001–0.016) (Table 1). Multivariate analyses identified the severity on awakening and the improvement but not the duration of morning stiffness as factors that independently associate with the total tenosynovial PD score.

Conclusions Our data demonstrate a pathophysiological link between morning stiffness and tenosynovitis and also give an insight into the optimal measurement of morning stiffness. Our data support an independent value of evaluating morning stiffness in the management of RA.

  1. Aletaha D, et al. 2010 rheumatoid arthritis classification criteria: an American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism collaborative initiative. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69:1580–8.

  2. van der Heijde DM, et al. Judging disease activity in clinical practice in rheumatoid arthritis: first step in the development of a disease activity score. Ann Rheum Dis. 1990;49:916–20.

  3. Felson DT, et al. American College of Rheumatology/European League against Rheumatism provisional definition of remission in rheumatoid arthritis for clinical trials. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011;70:404–13.

Disclosure of Interest None declared

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.