ARP Rheumatology
ARP Rheumatology

An indexed journal, with free submission and free access to all articles

Devoted to international progress in the research, diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

Editorial team

New type of article: Correspondence & Reply

Up to 1000 words, commenting on an article published at ARP Rheumatology within 6 months.

1.375 (2021)Impact Factor
1.463 (2021)Five year Impact Factor
1.40 (2021)CiteScore

Editor’s choice

10-year experience of early arthritis clinic at a tertiary rheumatology center: achievements and challenges

Objectives: To characterize patients evaluated in our Early Arthritis Clinic (EAC) in the first ten years; to assess diagnostic delay and its underlying causes; and to evaluate the level of agreement between the referring physician and the rheumatologist regarding the presence of referral criteria. Methods: Cross-sectional study including patients attending EAC between 2012 and 2021. Demographic data, provenience, final diagnosis, referral criteria and time related to diagnosis delay were retrieved from clinical files and the Portuguese Registry of Rheumatic Patients ( Characteristics of the patients and the time variables were analysed with descriptive statistical analysis. The agreement between the referring physician and rheumatologist regarding the referral criteria was evaluated using Cohen's Kappa. Results: A total of 440 patients (68.9% females, mean age of 54±16.7 years) were referred, mostly from primary care (71.6%). Inflammatory Rheumatic Disease was diagnosed in 65.7% of the patients, with 58.9% classified as early arthritis. The median time from onset of symptoms to referral for EAC was 76 days (IQR 33.5-144.0); the median time from referral to the first EAC was 34 (IQR 19.0-46.0) days, and the median time from onset of symptoms to first EAC was 114.5 (IQR 66.8-190.3) days (16.3 weeks). Only about 10% were observed by a Rheumatologist before six weeks after symptom onset. The level of agreement between the referring physician and the rheumatologist was slight to fair to clinical criteria and moderate to substantial to laboratory criteria. Conclusions: A significant delay still is observed in patients with early arthritis suspicion, being the time from onset of symptoms to referral is the most relevant. A low agreement between referral and Rheumatologists suggests that non-rheumatologists education/training is needed. Identifying the barriers that prevent the adequate referral of patients is necessary to define strategies to improve it.
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Application of the new PRINTO classification criteria for juvenile idiopathic arthritis in a sample of Portuguese patients

Background: The International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) classification system for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) does not depict homogenous subgroups of disease. As to unify our language with the adult rheumatic diseases, the Pediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization (PRINTO) is attempting to revise these criteria. Objective: To reclassify a JIA sample according to the new provisional PRINTO subsets: systemic JIA (sJIA), RF-positive JIA (RF-JIA), early-onset ANA-positive JIA (eoANA-JIA), enthesitis/spondylitis-related JIA (ESR-JIA), “other JIA” and “unclassified JIA”. Methods: Retrospective study including JIA patients followed in a Pediatric Rheumatology Unit at a university hospital. Medical records were reviewed, and patients were reclassified as per the provisional PRINTO criteria. Results: Of a total of 104 patients, 41 (39.4%) were reclassified as “other JIA”, 36 (34.6%) as eoANA-JIA, 15 (14.4%) as ESR-JIA, 8 (7.7%) as sJIA and 4 (3.8%) as RF-JIA. More than 90% of the oligoarticular JIA were reclassified into either eoANA-JIA or “other JIA”. Only one negative RF polyarticular JIA converted to RF-JIA due to the presence of a positive anti-citrulinated peptide antibody (ACPA). The psoriatic arthritis (PsA) subgroup disappeared into eoANA-JIA (25%), ESR-JIA (25%) or “other JIA” (50%). There were significant differences in age of onset, but not on the gender ratio or uveitis presence. Antinuclear antibody was more frequent in females (p=0.035) and younger patients (p<0.001). Conclusion: The number of affected joints and PsA features elapsed in favour of laboratory RF, ACPA and ANA traits. PsA and oligoarticular JIA were abolished. The “other JIA” entity is heterogenous and prevalent, claiming reformulation.
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Neutrophile to lymphocyte and platelet to lymphocyte ratios predict clinical response to bDMARD in naïve spondylarthritis patients

Objective We aim to study association between neutrophile to lymphocyte (NLR) and platelet to lymphocyte (PLR) ratios and disease activity, and their value to predict bDMARD response. Methods A set of spondylarthritis (SpA) patients under bDMARD registered in the registry was studied. Sociodemographic, clinical and laboratorial variables were assessed on bDMARD initiation, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months (M) thereafter. Univariable and multivariable generalized estimation equations models assessed associations with disease activity. The NLR and PLR predictive value was assessed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression models. Results A total of 170 patients were included. Most were male (54.7%), with a predominantly axial phenotype (84.7%). Significant associations were observed between NLR [B=1.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) = (1.38; 1.74)] and PLR [(B=1.16, 95% CI = (1.09; 1.24)] with ASDAS-CRP (p < 0.001). Both baseline ratios predicted ∆ ASDAS-CRP ≥ 1.1 at 6 months [OR = 2.20, 95% CI = (1.21, 4.00) for NLR; OR = 1.02, 95% CI = (1.01, 1.04) for PLR, p < 0.01)]. PLR was a significant predictor of ∆ ASDAS-CRP ≥ 1.1 in all timepoints [OR (12 M) = 1.02, 95% CI = (1.00, 1.03), p < 0.05; OR (18M) = 1.02, 95% CI = (1.01, 1.03), p < 0.001; OR (24M) = 1.01, 95% CI = (1.01, 1.02), p < 0.01]. Conclusion NLR and PLR were associated with disease activity during the follow up of these patients. They seem to be significant predictors of therapeutic response to bDMARD in naïve SpA patients.
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Most cited

Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) complicated with post-viral arthritis

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was reported in Europe in the beginning of February 2020. Typical symptoms included fever, cough and dyspnea, and not much was known about the clinical evolution of the disease. Herein, we report a case of a late complication of COVID-19 infection in a 41-year-old...

Imaging of gout: findings and pitfalls. A pictorial review.

Abstract Gout is the most common crystal arthropathy, accounting for up to 5% of all arthritis. The hallmark of the disease is hyperuricemia with the subsequent deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in the intra- and extra-articular soft tissues and bones, leading to inflammation of these...

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Systematic literature review to inform the Portuguese recommendations for the management of Raynaud’s phenomenon and digital ulcers in systemic sclerosis and other connective tissue diseases.

Objective: To perform a systematic literature review (SLR) aimed at evaluating the efficacy and safety of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and digital ulcers (DU) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and other connective tissue diseases (CTD), in order...