Nail involvement, defined as the pitting, discoloration, or separation of the nails, in patients with psoriasis may predict later development of joint inflammation, according to findings published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Patients diagnosed with psoriasis should be continuously evaluated to allow for early detection and treatment of psoriatic arthritis (PsA), noted the team of researchers from University Medical Center of Hamburg-Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany.
To assess nail involvement in patients diagnosed with psoriasis, the scientists conducted a retrospective analysis of data gathered from three separate national cross-sectional studies conducted in Germany during 2005, 2007 and 2008.
The study included patients with psoriasis diagnosed by dermatologists and patients from a German advocacy group for those diagnosed with psoriasis. Investigators used standardized questionnaires to collect information on history of psoriasis and PsA, clinical findings, nail involvement, and outcomes reported by health-care providers and patients.
Results of the regression model for 4,146 patients indicated that the strongest predictors for concomitant PsA were nail involvement (P< 0.001) and inpatient hospital treatment (P< 0.001). In contrast to previous studies, scalp involvement was not a significant predictor, according to the researchers.