2015 Gout Classification Criteria: an American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism collaborative initiative.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: Existing criteria for the classification of gout have suboptimal sensitivity and/or specificity, and were developed at a time when advanced imaging was not available. The current effort was undertaken to develop new classification criteria for gout. METHODS: An international group of investigators, supported by the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism, conducted a systematic review of the literature on advanced imaging of gout, a diagnostic study in which the presence of monosodium urate monohydrate (MSU) crystals in synovial fluid or tophus was the gold standard, a ranking exercise of paper patient cases, and a multicriterion decision analysis exercise. These data formed the basis for developing the classification criteria, which were tested in an independent data set. RESULTS: The entry criterion for the new classification criteria requires the occurrence of at least 1 episode of peripheral joint or bursal swelling, pain, or tenderness. The presence of MSU crystals in a symptomatic joint/bursa (i.e., synovial fluid) or in a tophus is a sufficient criterion for classification of the subject as having gout, and does not require further scoring. The domains of the new classification criteria include clinical (pattern of joint/bursa involvement, characteristics and time course of symptomatic episodes), laboratory (serum urate, MSU-negative synovial fluid aspirate), and imaging (double-contour sign on ultrasound or urate on dual-energy computed tomography, radiographic gout-related erosion). The sensitivity and specificity of the criteria are high (92% and 89%, respectively). CONCLUSION: The new classification criteria, developed using a data-driven and decision analytic approach, have excellent performance characteristics and incorporate current state-of-the-art evidence regarding gout.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Neogi, T; Jansen, TLTA; Dalbeth, N; Fransen, J; Schumacher, HR; Berendsen, D; Brown, M; Choi, H; Edwards, NL; Janssens, HJEM; Lioté, F; Naden, RP; Nuki, G; Ogdie, A; Perez-Ruiz, F; Saag, K; Singh, JA; Sundy, JS; Tausche, A-K; Vazquez-Mellado, J; Yarows, SA; Taylor, WJ

Published Date

  • October 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 2557 - 2568

PubMed ID

  • 26352873

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26352873

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2326-5205

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/art.39254


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States