Joint and fascia manifestations in chronic graft-versus-host disease and their assessment.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Arthritis and rheumatism, Volume 66, Issue 4, p.1044-52 (2014)


2013, 2014, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, December 2013, Research Trials Office Core Facility - Biostatistics Service, Shared Resources


Objective. Joint and fascia manifestations in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation need to be assessed reliably, simply and in a clinically meaningful way. Methods. In a prospective, multicenter, longitudinal, observational cohort of patients with chronic GVHD (n=567), we evaluated 3 scales proposed for assessing joint status: National Institutes of Health (NIH) joint/fascia scale, Hopkins fascia scale and the Photographic Range of Motion (P-ROM) scale. Ten other scales were also tested for assessing symptoms, quality of life and physical functions. Results. Joint and fascia manifestations were present at study enrollment in 164 (29%) patients. Limited range of motion was most frequent at wrists or fingers. Among the 3 joint scales, changes in the NIH scale correlated with both clinician and patient-perceived improvement of joint and fascia manifestations with higher sensitivity than the Hopkins fascia scale. Changes in all 3 scales correlated with clinician and patient-perceived worsening but the P-ROM scale was the most sensitive in this regard. Onset of joint and fascia manifestations was not associated with subsequent mortality. Conclusion. Joint and fascia manifestations are common and should be assessed carefully in patients with chronic GVHD. Our results support the use of the NIH joint/fascia scale and P-ROM scale to assess joint and fascia manifestations. The NIH scale better captures improvement, while the P-ROM scale better captures worsening. The utility of these scales could also be tested in the rheumatic diseases. © 2013 American College of Rheumatology.