Saakshi Khattri, MD: Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis Early in Psoriasis Patients

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Dr. Khattri speaks of the benefits of diagnosing the condition early in psoriasis patients, as well as what dermatologists can do before referring a patient to a rheumatologist.

Though the physical and emotional burdens associated with psoriatic arthritis have been well-documented, many psoriasis patients who suffer from the condition do so unwittingly due, in part, to a lack of diagnosis.

In an interview with HCPLive, Saakshi Khattri, MD, Director of Center for Connective Tissue Diseases, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, spoke of the prevalence of psoriatic arthritis in psoriasis patients, and what could be done to diagnose the condition early.

“In dermatology, we see a huge number of patients that have psoriasis, and we know based on research that about a third psoriasis patients will have psoriatic arthritis,” Khattri said, “Frequently there's a huge delay in diagnosis.”

Undiagnosed cases of psoriatic arthritis have been a common occurrence for a variety of reasons, some of which include patients simply going untreated for too long or merely being asymptomatic.

However, the implications of a late diagnosis are noteworthy; patients with undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis might have considerably joint damage and increased morbidity in, often adversely affecting their quality of life.

Khattri indicated that dermatologists, nurse practitioners and physicians working in the dermatology field could play a pivotal role in early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis.

“We can't send every patient that has psoriasis to see a rheumatologist, but what we can do as practitioners in the dermatology space is ask questions, do a cursory exam that can increase our index of suspicion that a particular patient that has psoriasis can or might also have psoriatic arthritis,” Khattri said.

For instances where a patient has both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, biologics indicated for both conditions might be warranted, in addition to a referral to a rheumatologist.

Being both a dermatologist and a rheumatologist, Khattri is well-equipped to both diagnose and treat psoriatic arthritis, a condition for which several tools exist.

To hear more on what dermatologists can do to prevent undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis, as well as some of the treatment methods, watch the video above.