Quantitative joint assessment in rheumatoid arthritis

Clin Exp Rheumatol. Sep-Oct 2005;23(5 Suppl 39):S58-62.


A count of swollen and tender joints is the most specific quantitative clinical measure to assess and monitor the status of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Many methods have been described to quantitate joint abnormalities, including scoring various numbers of joints (with or without grading of abnormality) for different types of abnormalities, including swelling, tenderness, pain on motion, limited motion, and deformity. This article reviews selected methods for the performance of joint counts, with discussion of their advantages and limitations in the assessment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Joints / pathology*
  • Joints / physiopathology*
  • Rheumatology / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index*