Assessment of control of rheumatoid arthritis disease activity

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology; Department of Internal Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Antirheumatic Agents; Arthritis, Rheumatoid; Arthrography; Clinical Trials as Topic; Female; Health Status; Humans; Joints; Male; Outcome Assessment (Health Care); Pain Measurement; Patient Satisfaction; Quality of Life; Recovery of Function; Remission Induction; Treatment Outcome


Musculoskeletal Diseases | Rheumatology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


As very effective targeted biological therapies have become available to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), remission is now the goal of treatment. Since 1981, efforts have been undertaken to develop criteria for clinical remission in RA. Although several different measures of disease activity have been proposed, many issues remain unresolved. Active joint inflammation, even if involving only a few joints, negatively impacts a patient's quality of life and may ultimately result in structural damage. Thus, a low disease activity state (LDAS), which has been adopted as the target in clinical trials of 'treat to target', may not be the optimal treatment target in clinical practice. Similarly, the definitions of remission used in clinical trials may not be appropriate for use in daily clinical practice because some allow for the presence of several tender and swollen joints. Measures of disease activity do not necessarily correlate with structural remission, which implies halting progression of radiographic evidence of damage over time. Because no single measure of RA disease activity fully quantifies the global burden of disease, rheumatologists must follow multiple parameters to assess disease activity thoroughly and to adjust treatment optimally.

DOI of Published Version



Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2011 Aug;25(4):497-507. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2011.10.007. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Best practice and research. Clinical rheumatology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID