EBMcalc Logo
  Rheumatoid Arthritis Criteria (1987 revision, American Rheumatism Association)

Morning stiffness

Morning stiffness in and around the joints, lasting at least 1 hour before maximal improvement. Symptoms present for a minimum of 6 weeks. (1 point)
Arthritis of 3 or more joint areas

At least 3 joint areas simultaneously have had soft tissue swelling or fluid (not bony overgrowth alone) observed by aphysician; the 14 possible joint areas are right or left proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints, metacarpophalangeal (MCP)joints, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, and metatarsophalangeal (MPT) joints. Findings present for a minimum of 6 weeks. (1 point)
Arthritis of hand joints

At least one area swollen (as defined above) in a wrist, MCP or PIP joint. Findings present for a minimum of 6 weeks. (1 point)
Symmetric arthritis

Simultaneous involvement of the same joint areas (see 2 above) on both sides of the body (bilateral involvement of PIPs, MCPs, or MTPs is acceptable without absolute symmetry). Findings present for a minimum of 6 weeks. (1 point)
Rheumatoid nodules

Subcutaneous nodules, over bony prominences, or extensor surfaces, or in juxta-articular regions, observed by a physician. (1 point)
Serum rheumatoid factor

Demonstration of abnormal amounts of serum rheumatoid factor by any method for which the result has been positive in <5% of normal control subjects. (1 point)
Radiographic changes

Radiographic changes typical of RA on posteroanterior hand and wrist radiographs, which must include erosions or unequivocal bony decalcification localized to or most marked adjacent to the involved joints (osteoarthritis changes alone do not qualify). (1 point)

Important: Inputs must be complete to perform calculation.

Total Criteria Point Count:
Include literature references: Yes   No
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is diagnosed by an RA score of 4-7 points.

  1. Arnett FC, Edworthy SM, Bloch DA, et al. The American Rheumatism Association 1987 revised criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 1988 Mar;31(3):315-24. PubMed ID: 3358796 PubMed Logo

Associated Medical Subject Headings [MeSH]
         Arthritis,   Humans,   Medical,   Rheumatoid,   Rheumatology,   Societies,   Terminology as Topic

Associated ICD10-CM Codes
   Z13.828Encounter for screening for other musculoskeletal disorder
   Z13.89Encounter for screening for other disorder
   M06.9Rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified
   M79.0Rheumatism, unspecified

Associated ICD9-CM Codes
   729.0Rheumatism nos
   714.0Rheumatoid arthritis
   V82.2Screen-rheumat dis nec
   V82.1Screen-rheumatoid arthr


Legal Notices and Disclaimer

All information contained in and produced by the EBMcalc system is provided for educational purposes only. This information should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or disease. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE CLINICAL JUDGMENT OR GUIDE INDIVIDUAL PATIENT CARE IN ANY MANNER. Click here for full notice and disclaimer.
EBMcalc is Copyright © 1998-2023 Foundation Internet    [Build 271986 v23.4]