Psoriatic Arthritis Often Goes Undiagnosed

A new study shows that psoriatic arthritis continues to go undiagnosed even more often than previously thought.

The study evaluated 949 patients with plaque psoriasis in Europe and North America and revealed that 30 percent of them had psoriatic arthritis. Of that 30 percent, 41 percent had not been previously diagnosed for the disease. The study was published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology. There is no definitive test to diagnose psoriatic arthritis, said Dr. Alexis Ogdie, a rheumatologist at the University of Pennsylvania. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, there isn't a simple blood test that can reveal if a person has psoriatic arthritis. Instead, people with psoriasis should talk to their doctor if they experience joint pain and swelling or stiffness in the morning.

Ogdie is leading a study backed by a $50,000 National Psoriasis Foundation Discovery Grant that aims to discover better methods of diagnosing psoriatic arthritis. The study will examine if PET/CT scans are able to capture the beginning stages of psoriatic arthritis and to determine the beginning signs of joint damage on these scans.

September 13, 2013