Development and Validation of the European League Against Rheumatism Response Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Comparison With the Preliminary American College of Rheumatology and the World Health Organization/International League Against Rheumatism Criteria

Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Jan;39(1):34-40. doi: 10.1002/art.1780390105.


Objective: To validate the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and the World Health Organization (WHO)/International League Against Rheumatism (ILAR) response criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: EULAR response criteria were developed combining change from baseline and level of disease activity attained during follow up. In a trial comparing hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine, we studied construct (radiographic progression), criterion (functional capacity), and discriminant validity.

Results: EULAR response criteria had good construct, criterion, and discriminant validity, ACR and WHO/ILAR criteria showed only good criterion validity.

Conclusion: EULAR response criteria showed better construct and discriminant validity than did the ACR and the WHO/ILAR response criteria for RA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Societies, Medical / standards*
  • Sulfasalazine / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • World Health Organization


  • Sulfasalazine
  • Hydroxychloroquine