Validation of the 2010-ACR/EULAR -classification criteria using newly EULAR-defined erosion for rheumatoid arthritis on the very early arthritis community-based (VErA) cohort

Joint Bone Spine. 2015 Jan;82(1):38-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2014.03.008. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Objective: To validate the 2010-ACR/EULAR criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), taking into account the recent EULAR definition of "erosive disease", on the 310 patients comprising the very early arthritis cohort (VErA).

Methods: 2010-criteria performances were tested by first strictly applying its three items successively: ≥ 1 clinical synovitis/another disease(s)/score ≥ 6/10), then the typical erosion grid without obtaining a score of ≥ 6 to diagnose RA. We tested successively: no erosion (S1), ≥ 1 erosion(s) (S2), EULAR-defined erosive disease (S3). Two gold standards were used: expert diagnosis at six years and EULAR erosive disease at two years.

Results: At inclusion, median age was 52 years; median RA duration 4.2 months. 2010-ACR/EULAR criteria, including EULAR-defined erosive disease applied at baseline, classified comparable numbers of patients as the 1987 criteria (P=0.27). Using expert diagnosis at six years, more patients were classified as RA with S2 than 1987-ACR criteria (P<0.04). In contrast, sensitivity and specificity indicated that 2010-ACR/EULAR-S3 criteria performed slightly but not significantly better than 1987-ACR criteria. On ROC curves, a score ≥ 6 correctly classified RA. When EULAR-defined erosion at two years was the gold standard, the 1987-ACR, the 2010-S1, -S2 and -S3 criteria performed comparably.

Conclusions: Using the very early community-based, conservatively treated VErA cohort, the strict application of 2010-ACR/EULAR criteria using the new EULAR definition of erosive disease or not performed slightly but not significantly better than the 1987-ACR criteria.

Keywords: Classification criteria; Early rheumatoid arthritis; Erosion; Undifferentiated arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / classification*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • ROC Curve
  • Synovitis / classification
  • Synovitis / diagnosis
  • Young Adult