Table 1

Criteria for identifying the rapidly progressing rheumatoid arthritis patient [5,18-20]

Clinical evidence

Subclinical evidence


Early age of onset

Evidence of erosion on radiograph or MRI (van der Heijde–Sharp score ≥2.6)

Failed two DMARDs in 6 months

Elevated CRP level (≥0.6 mg/dl)

≥4 swollen joints

Elevated ESR (28 mm/hour)

Elevated DAS score (≥4.2)

Health Assessment Questionnaire raw score >4


CRP, C-reactive protein; DAS, disease activity score; DMARD, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging. Reproduced with permission from Oxford University Press.

Breedveld and Combe Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011 13(Suppl 1):S3   doi:10.1186/1478-6354-13-S1-S3