Table 1

Diagnostic imaging studies and laboratory tests recommended by French rheumatologists in two fictional cases of early polyarthritis. Results shown as number (%) of rheumatologists

Case 1 (possible RA)Case 2 (probable RA)p Value
Abbreviations: MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; AST, aspartate aminotransferase; ALT, alanine aminotransferase; APTT, activated partial thromboplastin time; HIV, human immunodeficiency virus.
Radiographs
    Hands109 (92)113 (95)>0.05
    Chest 78 (66) 55 (46) 0.001
    Knees 68 (57) 66 (55)>0.05
    Feet 59 (50) 60 (50)>0.05
    Pelvis 54 (45) 28 (24) 0.0001
Other imaging studies
    Radionuclide bone scanning 8 (7) 3 (3)>0.05
    MRI hand-wrist 2 (2) 0 (0)>0.05
    Echocardiography 2 (2) 0 (0)>0.05
    Joint ultrasonography 0 (0) 0 (0)>0.05
HLA
    B27 33 (28) 9 (8) 0.0001
    A, B, DR 14 (12) 9 (8)>0.05
Routine laboratory tests
    Erythrocyte sedimentation rate 88 (74) 93 (78)>0.05
    C reactive protein 80 (67) 86 (72)>0.05
    Blood cell counts 77 (65) 94 (79) 0.01
    AST/ALT 74 (62) 32 (27) 0.05
    Proteinuria 47 (39) 32 (27) 0.01
    Creatinine 41 (34) 46 (39)>0.05
    Serum uric acid 17 (14) 14 (12)>0.05
    Ferritin 14 (12) 5 (4) 0.01
    Iron 11 (9) 5 (4) 0.02
    Fibrin 4 (3) 4 (3)>0.05
    Creatine kinase 4 (3) 1 (1)>0.05
    Iron binding capacity 2 (2) 0 (0)>0.05
    APTT 1 (1) 1 (1)>0.05
    Aldolase 1 (1) 0 (0)>0.05
    Lactic dehydrogenase 0 (0) 0 (0)>0.05
Microbiological studies
    Genital tract 2 (2) 0 (0)>0.05
    Stool 0 (0) 0 (0)>0.05
    Blood 0 (0) 0 (0)>0.05
Serology
    Hepatitis C 23 (19) 11 (9) 0.0001
    Hepatitis B 21 (18) 10 (8) 0.001
    Lyme 15 (13) 2 (2) 0.01
    HIV 13 (11) 3 (3)>0.05
    Parvovirus B19 10 (8) 1 (1) 0.01
    Chlamydiae 8 (7) 0 (0) 0.01
    Antistreptolysin O 3 (3) 1 (1)>0.05
    Mycoplasma 1 (1) 0 (0)>0.05
    Salmonella 0 (0) 0 (0)>0.05
Immunology
    Antinuclear factor117 (98)104 (87)>0.05
    Rheumatoid factor117 (98) 87 (76) 0.0001
        Latex test103 (87) 47 (39) 0.0001
        Waaler-Rose test 97 (82) 72 (61) 0.001
    Antikeratin antibodies 49 (41) 35 (29)>0.05
    Complement 15 (13) 12 (10)>0.05
    Antiperinuclear factor 12 (10) 8 (7)>0.05
    Antiphospholipid antibody 2 (2) 1 (1)>0.05
    Cryoglobulinaemia 2 (2) 0 (0)>0.05
    Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody 1 (1) 0 (0)>0.05
Joint aspiration (synovial fluid analysis) 43 (36) 31 (26)>0.05
Biopsy
    Salivary gland 3 (3) 1 (1)>0.05
    Synovial membrane 2 (2) 0 (0)>0.05
Ophthalmological examination 10 (8) 15 (13)>0.05