Modified sharp method: factors influencing reproducibility and variability.
ABSTRACT In rheumatoid arthritis, joint radiography is still the most frequently used instrument to assess the progression of joint damage. Unfortunately, the poor quality of the radiographic scoring methods available has a negative impact on the power in clinical trials. This study focuses on the influence of the following 4 factors on radiographic scores according to van der Heijde's modification of the Sharp method: intraobserver variation, interobserver variation, follow-up time, and number of measurement occasions within a patient series.
One hundred and seventy-two patients in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis were followed up. During the first 3 years, radiographs of the hands and feet were taken twice yearly and scored by 3 observers. The scoring process was repeated after an additional 3-year period. Correlation coefficients and differences between observers were calculated to define variability. The influence of the 4 factors on variability was studied.
One observer assigned a significantly higher score than the other 2, who had been trained together. Interobserver variability decreased as follow-up time increased. Interobserver correlation coefficients became higher, with smaller differences between observers for progression scores than for absolute scores. Increasing the number of measurements within a patient series led to higher scores. Intraobserver correlation coefficients were high, and a training effect occurred when the time between measurements was 1 year, resulting in lower scores.
This study demonstrates that, and shows how, the investigated factors influence the variability of the modified Sharp method. It is extremely important to take interobserver variation into account when designing protocols for multicenter clinical trials. A progression scoring method is recommended for studies assessing radiographic damage or clinical trials.
Article: Associations between the PTPN22 1858C->T polymorphism and radiographic joint destruction in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: results from a 10-year longitudinal study.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To investigate whether the PTPN22 1858T risk variant is associated with the rate of radiographic progression in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A longitudinally followed cohort of 238 Norwegian patients with RA (the EURIDISS cohort) was genotyped for the PTPN22 1858C-->T polymorphism. Radiographic damage was assessed by hand radiographs at baseline and after 1, 2, 5 and 10 years, and the radiographs were scored with the Sharp method modified by van der Heijde (Sharp-van der Heijde score) by a single experienced reader. Baseline serum levels of rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide autoantibodies were also examined. The reported association between RA susceptibility and carriage of the T allele (34.4% in patients vs 21.4% in controls; odds ratio 1.92, 95% confidence interval 1.36 to 2.71, p = 0.0002) was confirmed. An association between annual progression rate of Sharp-van der Heijde score and T-allele carriers (p = 0.01),was also found, which was also present when only patients positive for the shared epitope were analysed (p = 0.03). This association was also maintained in multivariate analyses adjusting for shared epitope and demographic variables. An association between the PTPN22 risk variant and increased progression rate for structural damage was found. The results indicate that the PTPN22 gene may not only be associated with disease susceptibility, but also with disease progression.Annals of the rheumatic diseases 01/2008; 66(12):1604-9. · 8.11 Impact Factor