What are the ACR and EULAR diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Mar 05, 2021
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Historically, the diagnosis of RA was based on the 1987 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. These criteria were based on the persistence of arthritic symptoms over time; however, this classification system failed to identify patients with early inflammatory arthritis.

It is now recognized that early therapeutic intervention significantly improves clinical outcomes and reduces irreversible joint damage and disability. With this focus, the ACR and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) devised new classification criteria for early arthritis, which assess joint involvement, autoantibody status, acute-phase response, and symptom duration, as well as revised criteria for classifying RA in newly presenting patients, those with erosive disease typical of RA, and those with inactive disease with or without treatment. [39]

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