[Improved early diagnostics of rheumatic diseases : Monocentric experiences with an open rheumatological specialist consultation].
Authors of this article are:
Voigt A Seipelt E Bastian H Juche A Krause A.
A summary of the article is shown below:
AIM OF THE PROJECT: To establish an open rheumatological outpatient consultation service for early diagnosis of inflammatory rheumatic diseases and initiation of further diagnostics and treatment.METHODS: In 2015 an open consultation service was initiated for patients with signs of an early rheumatic disease after referral by primary care physicians. Patients could attend once a week without the need for a prior appointment if they fulfilled at least one of the following criteria: positive rheumatoid factor, increased CRP, anti-CCP antibody or antinuclear antibody, joint pain or back pain for over 3 months, swollen joints, fever of unknown origin or acute muscle pain with or without headache of unknown origin. This article presents the results of the retrospective descriptive data analysis of the first 2 years of this project.RESULTS: A total of 1262 patients were treated with an average of approximately 20 patients per consultation. In nearly half of the patients an inflammatory rheumatological disease could be diagnosed and immediate diagnostic and treatment measures could be initiated. The diagnostic delay for patients with rheumatoid arthritis was 12 weeks, for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica 11 weeks and for patients with psoriatic arthritis or axial spondylarthritis 18 and 44 weeks, respectively. The time expenditure was a total of 4-5 h per week for an experienced rheumatologist and a specialized rheumatology nurse.CONCLUSION: Through this open rheumatological outpatient consultation a low threshold opportunity for the early diagnosis of rheumatologic diseases could be established. The diagnostic delay for many rheumatological diseases could be considerably shortened. Cooperation with rheumatologists in private practice guaranteed the subsequent specialized rheumatological care of the identified patients in the early stages of their illness.
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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: Acute consultation service;Early diagnostics;Inflammatory rheumatic disease;Outpatient consultation service;Window of opportunity.
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