This study will examine the genetic and immune factors involved in the cause and development
of psoriatic arthritis-a disease of both the skin and joints. It will describe the medical
features and natural course of the disease and determine participants' eligibility for
experimental treatment protocols.
Patients with known or suspected psoriatic arthritis 5 years of age and older and their
relatives may enroll in this study. Patients will be evaluated with a medical history and
physical examination, electrocardiogram, blood tests and X-rays. Additional procedures may
1. Leukapheresis-Collection of white blood cells for genetic analysis. Whole blood is
collected through a needle placed in an arm vein. The blood circulates through a
machine that separates it into its components. The plasma is removed and the cells are
returned to the body through a second needle placed in the other arm.
2. Skin biopsy-Removal of a small skin sample for microscopic analysis. An area of skin
is numbed with an anesthetic and one to three small circular portions (about 1/4 inch
in diameter) are cut and removed.
3. Joint aspiration-Removal of a small sample of synovial fluid (lubricating joint fluid).
An area of skin around the biopsy site is numbed with an anesthetic, and a needle is
inserted into the joint to pull out a small fluid sample.
4. Synovial needle biopsy-Removal of a small sample of synovial tissue (tissue lining the
joint). An area of skin around the biopsy site is numbed with an anesthetic and a
large needle is inserted into the joint. A smaller needle attached to a syringe is
then placed inside the larger needle and small pieces of synovial tissue are removed.
5. Genetic studies-Saliva and blood samples will be collected for gene testing. Saliva is
collected by rinsing the mouth with a tablespoon of salt water and spitting into a test
Patients will be followed once or twice a year and may be evaluated for participation in an
experimental treatment study.
Participating relatives of patients will fill out a brief medical history questionnaire and
provide a DNA sample (blood sample or tissue swab from the inside of the cheek).
Patients with known or suspected psoriatic arthritis will be evaluated at the Clinical
Center. Studies will include characterization of the clinical and laboratory features of
the disease, research studies of the natural history and pathogenesis, genetic studies, and
determination of the patient's eligibility to enter experimental therapeutic protocols.
Patients may be asked to contribute blood, skin or synovial membrane samples for immunologic
and genetic research studies.
Psoriatic arthritis (proven or suspected) or;
Family history of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis (i.e. family members of patients with
psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis); and
Willingness and ability of the subject or guardian to give informed consent.
Concomitant medical problems which would confound the interpretation of immunological
Concomitant medical, surgical or other conditions for which inadequate facilities or funds
are available to support their care at the NIH.