Gout affects nearly 4% of American adults, causing joint inflammation, pain and crystal deposits that may lead to bone erosion over time. At least five different classification criteria for gout are used worldwide, creating potential discrepancies in clinical trial enrollment and eventual results.
Explore this issueNovember 2015
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An international panel of investigators collaborated to create new, standardized gout classification criteria by conducting a multi-phase study of hundreds of gout patient cases. The panel members hope the new criteria will enable any rheumatology clinical researcher—no matter where a study or trial is conducted—to identify and enroll a more homogenous set of gout patients. In turn, this may facilitate more effective gout studies, including clinical trials for new treatment development. The criteria were released by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in conjunction with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and simultaneously published in Arthritis & Rheumatology and Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases in October 2015.
“We wanted to determine what features of gout best distinguish it from other conditions that could be similar to gout,” says Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Boston University School of Medicine and one of the lead investigators in the study. “The new classification criteria incorporate patients’ symptoms, physical exam findings, serum uric acid levels, joint fluid analysis, X-ray findings and advanced imaging findings.”