Although there is a general focus on early diagnosis and treatment of hip osteoarthritis, there are no validated diagnostic criteria for early-stage hip OA. The current study aimed to take the first steps in developing diagnostic criteria for early-stage hip OA, using factors obtained through history taking, physical examination, radiography and blood testing at the first consultation in individuals presenting with hip pain, suspicious for hip OA, in primary care.
Data of the 543 individuals with 735 symptomatic hips at baseline who had any follow-up data available from the prospective CHECK cohort study were used. A group of 26 clinical experts (GPs, Rheumatologists and Orthopedic surgeons) evaluated standardized clinical assessment forms of all subjects on the presence of clinically relevant hip OA 5 to 10 years after baseline. Using the expert based diagnoses as reference standard, a backward selection method was used to create predictive models based on pre-defined baseline factors from history taking, physical examination, radiography and blood testing.
Prevalence of clinically relevant hip OA during follow-up was 22%. Created models contained 4 to 8 baseline factors (mainly WOMAC pain items, painful/restricted movements, and radiographic features) and obtained area under the curve between 0.62 ± 0.002 and 0.71 ± 0.002.
Based on clinical and radiographic features of hip OA obtained at first consultation at a GP for pain/stiffness of the hip, the prediction of clinically relevant hip OA within 5 to 10 years was ‘poor’ to ‘fair’.