Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Rheumatoid Arthritis: Classification Criteria

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Classification Criteria

Topic Overview

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) worked together to develop the 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria for rheumatoid arthritis. footnote 1 The goal is to identify possible rheumatoid arthritis early so there is no delay in starting treatment.

The classification criteria are used to evaluate people who have swelling in at least one joint that is not explained by another disease such as lupus or gout. An evaluation results in a score between 0 and 10. Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed if the score is 6 or more. Here is a summary of the criteria. footnote 1

Classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis

Criteria

Score

The number and size of joints that are swollen. The doctor counts how many large joints (shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles) and how many small joints (the small joints in the wrists, hands, and feet) are swollen. You may hear these criteria called "joint involvement."

You get a score from 0 to 5.

Blood tests. The part of the blood called "serum" is evaluated to look for rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP or ACPA). These are usually higher than normal in people who have rheumatoid arthritis. You may hear these criteria called "serology."

You get a score from 0 to 3.

Additional blood tests. The blood is also tested for C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or sed rate). These tests show whether there is inflammation in the body. You may hear these criteria called "acute-phase reactants."

You get a score of 0 or 1.

How long symptoms have lasted. The doctor notes whether symptoms have lasted less than 6 weeks, or 6 or more weeks. You may hear these criteria called "duration of symptoms."

You get a score of 0 or 1.

References

References

Citations

  1. Aletaha D, et al. (2010). 2010 rheumatoid arthritis classification criteria: An American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism collaborative initiative. Arthritis and Rheumatism, 62(9): 2569–2581.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Rheumatoid Arthritis

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna

Audiences

Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

Cigna Company Information

About Cigna Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice [PDF] Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap

Disclaimer

Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities  that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details