Objective: To determine differences in disease onset, extent, and manifestations of psoriasis among patients with active, inflammatory psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and to examine relationships that may exist between psoriasis and PsA.
Methods: Baseline demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were analyzed from 221 patients enrolled in a multicenter cooperative study, and relationships between measures of psoriasis and PsA were determined.
Results: Mean percentage of body surface area (BSA) affected by psoriasis was modest (12+/-17), and mean severity of erythema, induration, and scaling was moderate (4.9+/-2.1 on a 0-9 scale). Spanish Americans tended to have a higher mean percentage of BSA (18.5%) than Caucasians (11%; p = 0.067), as well as higher target lesion severity (5.55 vs. 4.84; p = 0.077). Patients with psoriatic nail disease (180/221, 81%) had significantly greater number of involved distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints (p = 0.004). There were no other significant associations of skin pattern or regional involvement with PsA.
Conclusion: Patients with active PsA have generally mild skin disease, and baseline relationships between psoriasis and PsA tend to be weak except for nail involvement and DIP joint activity.