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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 548502, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Validation of a Prediction Rule for the Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Patients with Recent Onset Undifferentiated Arthritis

Servicio de Clínica Médica, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Instituto Universitario Escuela de Medicina Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, and Fundacion Dr. Pedro M. Catoggio Para el Progreso de la Reumatología, Peron 4190, C1199ABB Buenos Aires, Argentina

Received 20 December 2012; Revised 4 February 2013; Accepted 5 February 2013

Academic Editor: Shinichi Kawai

Copyright © 2013 Zaida Bedran et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To validate van der Helm-van Mil score (vHvM) and new ACR/EULAR criteria for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in patients with undifferentiated arthritis (UA). Patients and Methods. Adult patients with UA (swelling ≥2 joints of less than 6 months duration, without diagnosis, and never treated with disease modifying drugs). Results. Ninety-one patients were included. Mean age: 55.6 years (SD: 17.4), 74% females. Median symptoms duration was 2 months (IR: 1–4 months). Mean van der Helm-van Mil score was 6.9 (SD: 2). After a mean followup of 6.2 months (SD: 6), 40.7% patients fulfilled ACR 1987 RA classification criteria, 28.6% fulfilled other diagnostic criteria, and 31% remained as UA. Receiver operator characteristic curve's (ROC's) area under the curve (AUC) for the vHvM score for diagnosis of RA was 0.83. A cutoff value of 6.94 showed sensitivity of 81% and 79.7% specificity. For the new ACR/EULAR criteria, the ROC AUC was 0.93, and a value equal to or greater than 6 showed 86.5% sensitivity and 87% specificity. Conclusion. van der Helm-van Mil prediction score and the new ACR/EULAR criteria proved to be valuable for the diagnosis of RA in patients with early UA.