ACR 2019


Conference summaries

Spondyloarthritis Including Psoriatic Arthritis

Development of a Set of ASAS Quality Standards for Adults with Axial Spondyloarthritis

Presented by: Uta Kiltz, MD
Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet/Ruhr University Bochum, Herne, Germany
  • ASAS successfully developed the first quality standards set for improvement of healthcare with the aim of providing a high-quality of care framework for patients with axSpA.

The management of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) worldwide is highly heterogeneous resulting in significant unmet needs such as delayed diagnosis. One way to achieve improvement in quality of care is to define quality standards (QS) in order to identify resources and processes which may need to be optimized. [1]

  • To develop Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS) QS to improve the quality of care for adults with axSpA.
  • The ASAS QS group developed a stepwise approach starting with (I) open discussions resulting in a proposal for possible key areas for quality improvement.
  • Thereafter, (II) ASAS members and invited patients discussed a provisional list with the possibility to propose additional key areas.
  • (III) The complete list was then evaluated by ASAS members and invited patients.
  • (IV) ASAS QS group prioritized key areas, and (V) phrased QS for the most important key areas.
  • Finally (VI), a draft version was commented on, discussed and finally agreed by ASAS members.
  • The ASAS QS group, consisting of 20 rheumatologists, 2 physiotherapists, and 2 patients, provided 34 potentially key areas for quality improvement which were commented by 140 participants (86 physicians, 42 patients).
  • Within this process 3 new key areas were proposed, and all 37 key areas were again evaluated by 120 participants (86 physicians, 29 patients).
  • Five key areas were identified to be most important to phrase QS: referral, rheumatologic assessment, treatment, education/self-management and comorbidities.
  • Altogether, 9 QS (Table) were endorsed by ASAS.
  • ASAS successfully developed the first QS set for improvement of health care provided for adults with axSpA.

Key messages/Clinical perspectives

  • Even though it may currently not be realistic to achieve the QS in all healthcare systems, they provide high-quality of care framework for patients with axSpA that should be aimed for.



  1. Kiltz U, Landewé RBM, van der Heijde D, et al. Development of ASAS quality standards to improve the quality of health and care services for patients with axial spondyloarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2019 Oct 11. pii: annrheumdis-2019-216034.

Presenter disclosure: The presenter has reported relationships with AbbVie, Biocad, Biogen, Chugai, Eli Lilly, Grünenthal, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, UCB.

Written by: Patrick Moore, PhD

Reviewed by: Alessia Alunno, MD, PhD

Local reviewers: Alessia Alunno, MD, PhD (Italian); Aurélie Najm, MD (French); Yukinori Okada, MD, PhD (Japanese); Fabian Proft, MD (German); Javier Rodríguez-Carrio, MD, PhD (Spanish); Priscilla Wong, MD (Chinese)

Scientific Editor:  Leonard H. Calabrese, DO


A Comparative Analysis of Upadacitinib Monotherapy and Upadacitinib Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis from Two Phase 3 Trials

Presented by: Maya H. Buch, MD, PhD - University of Leeds & NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre, Leeds, United Kingdom

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment with Filgotinib: Week 156 Safety and Efficacy Data from a Phase 2b Open-Label Extension Study

Presented by: Arthur Kavanaugh, MD - University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA, USA


A Phase 1b/2a Trial of Tofacitinib, an Oral Janus Kinase Inhibitor, in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Presented by: Sarfaraz Hasni, MD - National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin diseases/ National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

A Phase 3 Randomized Controlled Trial of Anifrolumab in Patients with Moderate to Severe Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Presented by: Richard A. Furie, MD - Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, New York, NY, USA


The Burden of Comorbidity in Patients with RA, PsA or SPA in a General Practice Registry

Presented by: Diederik De Cock, PhD - KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium



Ixekizumab Demonstrates Improvement Comparable to Adalimumab Across ACR Components in Biologic-Naïve Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis

Presented by: M. Elaine Husni, MD, MPH - Dept. of Rheumatologic and Immunologic Diseases, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

Tildrakizumab Efficacy on Psoriasis in Patients with Psoriatic Arthritis—An Analysis from a Phase 2 Study

Presented by: Alan M. Mendelsohn, MD - Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc., Princeton, NJ, USA, Princeton, NJ, USA

Development of a Set of ASAS Quality Standards for Adults with Axial Spondyloarthritis

Presented by: Uta Kiltz, MD - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet/Ruhr University Bochum, Herne, Germany

Ixekizumab in Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis: Primary Results from a Phase 3 Trial

Presented by: Atul Deodhar, MD, MRCP - Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA


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