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Editorial

Multiplex, megaplex, index, and complex: the present and future of laboratory diagnostics in rheumatology

Mark H Wener

Author Affiliations

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Rheumatology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Box 357110, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:134  doi:10.1186/ar3498

Published: 24 November 2011

Abstract

In a recent issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Chandra and colleagues described the use of multiple multiplex immunoassays and complex computer algorithms to investigate the possibility of improved laboratory diagnosis and novel classification of rheumatoid arthritis on the basis of biomarkers. Such complex predictive tools in rheumatology can be guided by the experience of multiplex testing in oncology, which has demonstrated the importance of uniform specimen handling and prospectively collected specimen repositories. Although there are high expectations for these complex approaches, they require careful evaluation.