Objective: To compare the accuracy of existing classification criteria for the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and to construct new criteria from observed data.
Methods: Data were collected prospectively from consecutive clinic attendees with PsA and other inflammatory arthropathies. Subjects were classified by each of 7 criteria. Sensitivity and specificity were compared using conditional logistic regression analysis. Latent class analysis was used to calculate criteria accuracy in order to confirm the validity of clinical diagnosis as the gold standard definition of "case"-ness. Classification and Regression Trees methodology and logistic regression were used to identify items for new criteria, which were then constructed using a receiver operating characteristic curve.
Results: Data were collected on 588 cases and 536 controls with rheumatoid arthritis (n = 384), ankylosing spondylitis (n = 72), undifferentiated arthritis (n = 38), connective tissue disorders (n = 14), and other diseases (n = 28). The specificity of each set of criteria was high. The sensitivity of the Vasey and Espinoza method (0.97) was similar to that of the method of McGonagle et al (0.98) and greater than that of the methods of Bennett (0.44), Moll and Wright (0.91), the European Spondylarthropathy Study Group (0.74), and Gladman et al (0.91). The CASPAR (ClASsification criteria for Psoriatic ARthritis) criteria consisted of established inflammatory articular disease with at least 3 points from the following features: current psoriasis (assigned a score of 2; all other features were assigned a score of 1), a history of psoriasis (unless current psoriasis was present), a family history of psoriasis (unless current psoriasis was present or there was a history of psoriasis), dactylitis, juxtaarticular new bone formation, rheumatoid factor negativity, and nail dystrophy. These criteria were more specific (0.987 versus 0.960) but less sensitive (0.914 versus 0.972) than those of Vasey and Espinoza.
Conclusion: The CASPAR criteria are simple and highly specific but less sensitive than the Vasey and Espinoza criteria.