“There have been lots of criteria out there for polymyalgia rheumatica, and many of those criteria have been dropped because they were not found to be essential or helpful,” Dr. Matteson says. “These criteria formally say that if you have rheumatoid serology, you are much less likely to have PMR. None of the other criteria out there for polymyalgia, diagnostic or otherwise, have addressed that. That is very important.”
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Another key feature of the new criteria is the role of ultrasound. “The main finding here is that ultrasound differentiated it from most other conditions that affect the shoulders that can be confused with polymyalgia, except rheumatoid arthritis. Ultrasound was not helpful for differentiating polymyalgia from rheumatoid arthritis because they have very similar or identical findings on ultrasound,” he says.
Dr. Matteson notes that researchers are still “on the search for better disease markers. We understand that, just as for other classification criteria, these criteria need to be validated further. We view this as a very dynamic area.”
For More Information
Researchers who would like more information about the SICCA registry can find that at http://sicca.ucsf.edu/index.html. To apply for access to the data and biospecimens available from the SICCA registry, visit http://sicca.ucsf.edu/specimen-data-dissemination-index.html.
Kathy Holliman is a medical journalist based in New Jersey.
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