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[Perspectives] Désirée van der Heijde: a focus on outcomes in rheumatic diseases

When researching the progress of rheumatoid arthritis and related conditions, many rheumatologists will have used the Sharp/van der Heijde scoring system for measuring radiographically observed damage. The first half of that eponym denotes John Sharp, the American rheumatologist who devised and published the scale in 1985 with a view to measuring the effectiveness of disease-modifying drugs. Sharp died in 2008, but Désirée van der Heijde, the Dutch rheumatologist who modified Sharp’s original system, is alive and well and Professor of Rheumatology at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in the Netherlands.