Tender joint counts, part of the composite disease activity score (CDAS), correlated well with patient-reported outcomes in a longitudinal study of 209 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but did not correlate with the sum scores of either grey-scale or power Doppler ultrasonography. At 6 months, the baseline tender joint count positively predicted the CDAS (P < 0.001–0.019) but negatively predicted ultrasonography sum scores (P < 0.001) in patients with RA who were treated with biologic DMARDs, suggesting that the presence of tender joints might not be indicative of inflammation.
Hammer, H. B. et al. Tender joint count may not reflect inflammatory activity in established rheumatoid arthritis patients – results from a longitudinal study. Arthritis Care Res. https://doi.org/10.1002/acr.23815 (2018)
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Collison, J. Tender joints might not indicate inflammation. Nat Rev Rheumatol 15, 2 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41584-018-0141-2