Radiographic damage in large joints in early rheumatoid arthritis: relationship with radiographic damage in hands and feet, disease activity, and physical disability

Br J Rheumatol. 1997 Aug;36(8):855-60. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/36.8.855.


An assessment of the onset of radiographic damage in the large joints (hip, knees, shoulders, elbows, ankles and tarsus) in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, and the relationship of the progression of large joint damage with joint damage in hands and feet, with physical disability, and with cumulative disease activity, was performed in a prospective 6 yr follow-up study. Large joint damage appeared to be an early phenomenon with 20% of the patients having some damage in at least one large joint within 1 yr, and 50% of the patients within 6 yr after disease onset. Radiographic damage in large joints was significantly related to the damage in hands and feet, the physical disability index, and the cumulative disease activity. The initial disease activity at study entry was the only prognostic factor that reached significance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology*
  • Arthrography*
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foot / diagnostic imaging*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rheumatoid Factor / analysis


  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Rheumatoid Factor