Diagnostic symptoms of psoriatic arthritis

A panel of dermatology experts in France has determined a set of four items for dermatologists to use to help improve the early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in patients with psoriasis

Early diagnosis of PsA is important to attain better outcomes. Dermatologists are best placed to identify early PsA and will be familiar with its skin and nail predictors, but may be less familiar with the joint symptoms associated with the condition.

This study aimed to develop a concise list of signs and symptoms for dermatologists to investigate in patients with psoriasis, in addition to the skin and nail predictors of PsA.

It involved a systematic search of the literature to identify key symptoms of PsA, which were submitted to a panel of 43 experts. They then selected the symptoms they believed dermatologists should screen for in patients with psoriasis to improve detection of PsA.

The four items that received the highest scores were peripheral inflammatory pain, axial inflammatory pain, dactylitis, and buttock and sciatic pain.

The study authors recommend that dermatologists should routinely screen patients with psoriasis for these four items.

Villani AP, Rouzaud M, Sevrain M et al. Symptoms dermatologists should look for in daily practice to improve detection of psoriatic arthritis in psoriasis patients: an expert group consensus. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2014; 28(Suppl 5): 27-32

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