Ideal target for psoriatic arthritis? Comparison of remission and low disease activity states in a real-life cohort

Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Feb;77(2):251-257. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-211998. Epub 2017 Oct 28.


Background: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) recommendations state that the target of treatment should be remission or low disease activity (LDA). We used a real-life dataset to compare different potential targets.

Methods: 250 patients with PsA considered in an acceptable disease state according to their rheumatologist were included. Targets for remission were the Disease Activity Index for Psoriatic Arthritis (DAPSA) and clinical DAPSA (cDAPSA) remission (≤4), very low disease activity (VLDA) and Psoriatic Arthritis Disease Activity Score ≤1.9. LDA targets analysed were the DAPSA ≤14, cDAPSA ≤13, minimal disease activity (MDA) and adjusted MDA targets: MDAjoints with both tender joint count (TJC) and swollen joint count (SJC) mandated, MDAskin (psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) mandated) and MDAjoints&skin with TJC, SJC and PASI mandated.

Results: Comparison of the several candidate targets demonstrates that VLDA is achieved by the lowest proportion of patients and includes patients with the lowest residual disease activity compared with the other remission targets. The modified MDA measures are the most stringent targets for LDA in terms of residual disease on joints, psoriasis and enthesitis within patients achieving the target. In both remission and LDA, the inclusion of C reactive protein did not show an added value. The exclusion of a skin domain, as in the DAPSA measures, resulted in negligence of skin disease and a negative impact on the quality of life in some patients.

Conclusions: The different remission and LDA targets show us significant overlap between measures, but these measures targeting the same definition do differ in terms of allowance of residual disease. Inclusion of laboratory markers seems unnecessary, although exclusion of a skin domain may result in psoriasis not being assessed resulting in residual impactful skin disease.

Keywords: disease activity; outcomes research; psoriatic arthritis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic / diagnosis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Remission Induction
  • Severity of Illness Index*