Classification Criteria for Polymyalgia Rheumatica
With no single test, no single symptom, and no known specific biomarkers, PMR has been difficult to diagnose and is often confused with other diseases. Those factors have also complicated research efforts. “It presents a problem if you try to formally study polymyalgia rheumatica because you need to be able to classify it and have confidence that the patient you have in your study actually has the disease,” Dr. Matteson says. The lack of standardized criteria has contributed to problems in assessing potentially effective therapies, he says.
Explore This IssueApril 2012
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The new “Provisional Classification Criteria for Polymyalgia Rheumatica” are addressing that problem.4 Not intended nor tested for diagnostic use, the criteria are intended, instead, to inform research efforts so that patients identified with these criteria are grouped together for the purpose of studying the disease course and treatments, Dr. Matteson says. “We hope in the future to [identify] a more specific biomarker or biomarkers so that we can say that if you have this biomarker or group of biomarkers and these symptoms, we are certain you have polymyalgia rheumatica and not some other disease that can be confused with it.”