Relation between Hand Bone Mineral Density, Degree of Joint Destruction, and Hand Function in Adults Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients


  •   Aya N. Abdelrafee

  •   Mohamed G. E. Zaki

  •   Abeer K. El Zohiery

  •   Manar A. Azab


Background: Rheumatoid Arthritis [RA] is a chronic systemic disease that affects the functional capacity of the hand due to inflammatory arthritis and joint destruction. RA patients have difficulties with everyday life activities and daily living activities. The prevalence of osteoporosis is estimated to be about twice that of the general population. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the most precise tool for detecting loss in bone mineral density in RA.

Aim of the study: This study aims to investigate the relation between generalized bone mineral density (BMD) and each of hand joint destruction and hand function in order to find out its possible role in assessment of rheumatoid hand disability.

Patients and Methods: Fifty patients diagnosed as RA based on the 2010 ACR Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria were included in this study. All patients were subjected to the following scores: Duruöz Hand Index (DHI), Grip Ability Test (GAT), Grip strength test, and Pinch strength tests for assessing the function of the dominant hand of each patient. The participants were also subjected to plain x-ray evaluated by van der Heijde-modified total Sharp score (vdH-S) to assess the damage of the joints of the dominant hand, and Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) to assess the Bone Mineral Density.

Results: The current study showed that wrist BMD was correlated with grip strength, pinch strength, GAT, and van der Heijde modified sharp score of the dominant hand. Moreover, X-ray joint findings were significantly correlated with each of total grip ability test, grip strength, and pinch strength as the hand disability manifested more with joint damage.

Conclusion: In conclusion, Osteoporosis, hand function, and joint damage in RA are correlated suggesting related pathophysiological mechanisms. The Severity of RA could be related to osteoporosis as well as joint destruction and hand disability.

Keywords: DEXA, hand function, Rheumatoid Arthritis [RA], van der Heijde-modified total Sharp score [vdH-S]


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How to Cite
Abdelrafee, A. N., Zaki, M. G. E., El Zohiery, A. K., & Azab, M. A. (2021). Relation between Hand Bone Mineral Density, Degree of Joint Destruction, and Hand Function in Adults Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients. European Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2(3), 116–121.