Far-reaching coverage for Southend-based research
15 February 2012
Southend University Hospital consultant, Prof Bhaskar Dasgupta, is breaking new ground by having landmark scientific research published simultaneously in three prestigious international medical journals.
Prof Dasgupta, a consultant rheumatologist and world expert in
the diseases polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and giant cell arteritis
(GCA), collaborated with the giant Mayo clinic in theUnited
Statesto produce definitive classification criteria for PMR, an
inflammatory condition which causes severe pain and stiffness in
the muscles as well as inflammation and swelling of soft
The international research, led bySouthendUniversityHospital,
will be published in the April editions of the Annals of Rheumatic
Diseases, Arthritis and Rheumatism and the Journal of Rheumatology,
which circulate in Europe, theUnited StatesandCanada.
Prof Dasgupta, who is clinical director of research and audit at
the hospital, said: "These are the most influential and respected
rheumatology journals in the world.
"The work has been going on internationally in 23 centres for
the last six years, funded by the European League Against
Rheumatism (EULAR) and theAmericanCollegeof Rheumatology (ACR).
"As well as classification criteria to avoid mis-diagnosis, we
have produced a second paper on how to assess PMR using
patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS).
"We looked at 179 cases across the world and another 240
"The objective was to find out what distinguishes PMR from other
conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, other forms of inflammatory
disease and even cancer.
"PMR has been recognised as a condition for many years but
research has only just started. We are spearheading it here
atSouthendUniversityHospitaland as a result it has now become an
The classification criteria will enable clinicians to conduct
proper clinical trials in the disease, he added. "Now we have the
methodology, we have the necessary building blocks for the
SouthendUniversityHospital, which has close academic ties with
both Anglia Ruskin andEssexUniversities, is rapidly making a name
for itself in the amount of research and clinical trials it is
involved in. These include specialties including stroke,
ophthalmology, critical care, oncology, paediatrics and renal