CATCH Objectives

There is now significant evidence from short-term studies of improved outcomes for patients who are diagnosed and treated with DMARDs within weeks of onset of inflammatory symptoms. Despite this evidence, there is currently no data available to demonstrate the reported treatment effects in a Canadian cohort and additional information is required. 

The primary objectives of this study are to determine:

  1. the most effective treatment strategies for patients who do not meet criteria for RA but demonstrate inflammatory feature(s)
  2. the effectiveness of recommended treatments in usual practice and for short term and long term outcomes

The secondary objectives of this study are to examine:

  1. the proportion of patients with early inflammatory arthritis symptoms who go on to meet diagnostic criteria for RA within one year of baseline
  2. factors that may predict how a patient’s disease might progress over time
  3. the frequency of time-point and sustained remission over time and factors that influence remission
  4. the proportion of patients in persistent remission who undergo drug withdrawal and to describe the strategies used to manage these patients

CATCH Inclusion Criteria

  • Age > 16 years at time of referral
  • Joint symptoms for ≥6 weeks and ≤12 months
  • At least one of the following:
  1. two (2) or more swollen joints
  2. one (1) swollen metacarpophalangeal (MCP) or proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint, and one of the following:
      1. Rheumatoid Factor (RF) ≥ 20 IU.
      2. (+) anti-CCP antibody (anti cyclic Citrullinated peptide antibody)
      3. morning (am) stiffness ≥ 45 minutes
      4. Response to NSAID
      5. (+) metatarsalphalageal joint (MTP) squeeze test