Inflammatory Arthritis Center

Inflammatory Arthritis Center Research

Advances in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis have made a dramatic difference in the lives of people with this disease. However, there is still much to be done. In the Inflammatory Arthritis Center (IAC), our goals are to expand the understanding of how and why inflammatory arthritis develops and to improve patient care. Below are highlights of some of the ongoing research for which we are actively recruiting subjects.

To be eligible for this and all IAC studies, one must be under the care of an HSS rheumatologist.


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may voluntarily be included in the RA Cohort. By joining, patients have the opportunity to learn about active or planned research studies they may be eligible for. Enrolled patients can request information about studies that are of interest to them, and they will be updated on a regular basis about education programs in the IAC. In turn, physicians and researchers use the anonymized information in the RA cohort to better describe their RA patient population, and to identify potential subjects appropriate for IAC research projects.

For additional information about RA Cohort, please contact Annie at

For further information and a list of clinical trials, go to 

CATCH-US: Consortium of Early Arthritis Cohorts USA

Patients have different experiences with their RA, requiring different levels of treatment. Research has proven that early identification and treatment can significantly improve a patient’s experience with the disease. However, research also suggests that many patients are not treated in the way that could best improve their outcomes. Although we know that early treatment is important, we still don’t know if there are factors that can predict how an individual patient’s disease will progress over time.

The goal of CATCH-US is to better understand predictors of treatment response in early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) patients. Vivian Bykerk MD has expanded this Canada-based multicenter observational study of patients newly diagnosed with RA to sites in the United States. We have been enrolling ERA patients in CATCH-US here at HSS since 2014 with additional sites beginning enrollment this year including:

  • Johns Hopkins in Baltimore
  • University of Colorado in Denver
  • Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles

For additional information about CATCH-US, please contact Michael at

For further information and a list of clinical trials, go to

Perioperative Flare in Total Joint Replacement

HSS orthopedic surgeons lead the field in both innovation and in the number of joint replacement surgeries performed each year. As Medical Director of the Combined Arthritis Program (CAP) Dr. Susan Goodman, along with surgeon collaborators, is looking closely at patients with RA undergoing hip, knee, shoulder or elbow joint replacement or arthroplasty. The goals of this research are (1) to examine the relationship between medication withdrawal prior to surgery and the incidence of flare or disease worsening, (2) to determine the rate of post-operative flare in these RA patients, and (3) to understand the relationship between post-operative disease flare and arthroplasty outcomes.

For additional information about our arthroplasty in RA study, please contact Annie at

For further information and a list of clinical trials, go to 

Only those RA patients undergoing joint replacement at the Hospital for Special Surgery are eligible for inclusion in this study.

For further information and a list of clinical trials, go to 

HSS SpA Cohort

IAC Investigators are interested in learning more about Spondyloarthritis (SpA). We are actively collecting data on consenting patients with specific types of SpA, including Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA). Eligible AS and PsA patients include those who, for the preceding three months, have not received biologic treatment such as adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, golimumab, certolizumab pegol, or other biologic therapies.

Usual care for patients with AS or SpA would include regular assessments of pain, function, mobility, spine, and joint motion, etc., about twice a year. Treatment interventions may include physical therapy, analgesics, NSAIDs, DMARDs or biologic therapies. As part of the HSS SpA Cohort, this detailed information would be recorded at pre-determined intervals, along with clinical information such as disease activity, tender and swollen joint counts, dactylitis, enthesitis, and spine involvement.

For information about the HSS SpA Cohort, contact Shirin at

PROMIS Rheumatoid Arthritis Interview Study

The value of collecting information directly from patients regarding their lived experience – symptoms and their impact – is of great importance to physicians treating RA. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) may reflect changes in disease activity that would impact clinical decision making and long-term management. Thus, there is a need to identify existing PRO measures or develop new ones which can reliably and precisely capture the range of symptoms and impacts of RA and its treatment while minimizing patient burden.

PROMIS (Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System)* is an NIH-funded system of highly reliable, precise measures of patient-reported health status for physical, mental, and social well-being. Recent studies suggest that PROMIS may also provide additional data that is useful during clinical visits for facilitating shared decision-making and long-term disease management. The goal of the PROMIS RA Interview Study is to study the responsiveness (sensitivity to change) of selected PROMIS measures in people with RA and establish minimally important differences for these measures. This information is necessary before measures can be adopted and used in clinical care and research.

We have completed enrollment for PROMIS at HSS.

For additional information about the PROMIS RA Interview Study at HSS please contact Annie at

Information about PROMIS is available at


Early Arthritis Initiative

The HSS Early Arthritis Initiative connects patients quickly and efficiently with a rheumatologist who can evaluate their joint pain and get each patient started on an appropriate course of treatment.