Table 1

Parameters that were selected in phase I, and frequencies of these parameters in the patients that in phase II were categorised as CSA, no-CSA or were considered unclassifiable

No-CSA (n=17) (%)Unclassifiable (n=19) (%)CSA (n=14) (%)
History taking
 Joint symptoms of recent onset (duration <1 year)417492
 4–10 joints with symptoms475721
 Symptoms in MCP joints356393
 Symptoms in MTP joints355357
 Symptoms in several small joint regions (MCP, wrists, PIP, MTP joints)356893
 Symmetric symptoms or signs (bilateral in same joint region)7758100
 Duration of morning stiffness ≥60 min63771
 Most severe symptoms in the early morning276990
 Improvement of symptoms during the day153690
 Increasing number of joints with symptoms over time707190
 Patient experience of swelling of small hand joints314777
 Presence of a first-degree relative with RA73336
Physical examination
 Difficulty with making a fist83143
 Local tenderness involved joints at physical examination638486
 Positive squeeze test of MCP joints142669
 Positive squeeze test of MTP joints222139
  • Data on symptoms of recent onset was missing in 1 patient, on most severe symptoms in early morning in 6 patients, on improvement of symptoms during the day in 8 patients, on increasing number of joints with symptoms over time in 11 patients, on patient experience of swelling in 2 patients, on difficulty with making a fist, presence of a first-degree relative with RA, local tenderness of joints, squeeze test of MCP and MTP joints in 4 patients.

  • CSA, clinically suspect arthralgia; MCP, metacarpophalangeal; MTP, metatarsophalangeal; PIP, proximal interphalangeal; RA, rheumatoid arthritis.