Subsets in psoriatic arthritis formed by cluster analysis

Clin Rheumatol. 2001;20(1):36-43. doi: 10.1007/s100670170101.


The aim of the study was to create subgroups among psoriatic arthritis patients on the basis of dermatological features, clinical pattern of arthritis, and laboratory, immunological and radiological findings. Data on 100 patients were expressed in a standardised form and entered into hierarchical cluster analysis according to Ward's method. Seven subgroups were created. Fifty-six patients with mild psoriasis were sorted into a 'polyarticular group'. Two 'RA-like groups' were formed, differing from each other serologically and in axial involvement. In an 'oligoarticular group' (18 patients) serious skin disease and female gender predominancy were found to be characteristic. Eight patients with polyarticular arthritis were assigned to an 'erythrodermal group', in which polyarticular arthritis, mutilating, severe arthritis and a history of erythroderma were characteristic. Close to this group on the dendrogram eight women were sorted into a 'distal form'. Sausage fingers were frequent, and nail dystrophy was present in every case. In a 'pustular group' (three patients) the different type of skin involvement was considered and nail dystrophy was common. In the newly created subgroups not only the arthritic status, but also the type of the skin disease, played a determining role.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / classification*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / pathology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged