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:
- 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.
1 of 5 for good prognosis.
3 of 4 for bad prognosis.
This doesn't make me feel very hopeful.