SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Methods of scoring osseous defects and joint space narrowing in the hands and wrists of patients with definite or classical rheumatoid arthritis were devised. The usefulness of the scores was tested in a group of 90 patients who had one or more sets of X-ray films of the hands and wrists 36 months or more after onset of illness. Correlations were found between the extent of radiographic abnormalities or the rate of progression of radiographic changes and the age at onset, hand and wrist deformities, preceding physical signs of inflammation in the joints of the hands and wrists, hand function as measured by fist formation, the early appearance of subcutaneous nodules, and the titer of anti-IgG. Among black patients the extent of elevation of γ-globulins was associated with roentgenographic changes. The correlations between the scores of radiologic abnormalities and the clinical and laboratory manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis establish the value of the described methods of assessing the roentgenographic changes and indicate the usefulness of these methods in evaluating the effect of therapy in this disease.