Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Good information on PA

Sometimes I feel like Johnny-Five from Short Circuit--"need more input"!

I was searching for the prevalence of PA (estimates range from .3% to 1% of the population). Of course, there's not much detailed information about PA on the Internet, in books, or in research since PA only affects a small portion of the population. PA is usually an afterthought in a study for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). I've been looking around on the Internet to substantiate my doctor's claim that PA rarely goes into remission. Well, I found my answer--he's right. The site linked below gives the best information regarding prognosis of PA that I've found so far.

According to this site, less than 20% of patients go into remission. And less than 10% have a full remission where they can go off of all medication with no signs of joint damage on X-rays.

They give a list of items that indicated a relatively good prognosis:

  • Male

  • Fewer joints involved

  • Good functional status at presentation (this relates to ability to carry out normal daily tasks at work and home)

  • Previous remission in symptoms

  • Some genetic subtypes (this can determined by a blood test looking at a genetic marker called an HLA-group)

Then, of course, the features associated with a poor prognosis:
  • ESR >15 mm/hr at presentation

  • Use of medication prior to initial consultation

  • Absence of nail changes

  • Joint damage on x-rays

Sometimes my penchant for researching this stuff comes back to bite me.
My score:
1 of 5 for good prognosis.
3 of 4 for bad prognosis.

This doesn't make me feel very hopeful.

1 comment:

Vegan Philly Chick said...

Love your blog. Just started one on PA myself, check it out if you have a chance! :)