Synovial tissue research has become widely developed in several rheumatology centres, however, large discrepancies exist in the way synovial tissue is handled and, more specifically, how data pertaining to biopsy procedure, quality check and experimental results are reported in the literature. This heterogeneity hampers the progress of research in this rapidly expanding field. In that context, under the umbrella of European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology, we aimed at proposing points to consider (PtC) for minimal reporting requirements in synovial tissue research.
Twenty-five members from 10 countries across Europe and USA met virtually to define the key areas needing evaluation and formulating the research questions to inform a systematic literature review (SLR). The results were presented during a second virtual meeting where PtC were formulated and agreed.
Study design, biopsy procedures, tissue handling, tissue quality control and tissue outcomes (imaging, DNA/RNA analysis and disaggregation) were identified as important aspects for the quality of synovial tissue research. The SLR interrogated four databases, retrieved 7654 abstracts and included 26 manuscripts. Three OPs and nine PtC were formulated covering the following areas: description of biopsy procedure, overarching clinical design, patient characteristics, tissue handling and processing, quality control, histopathology, transcriptomic analyses and single-cell technologies.
These PtC provide guidance on how research involving synovial tissue should be reported to ensure a better evaluation of results by readers, reviewers and the broader scientific community. We anticipate that these PtC will enable the field to progress in a robust and transparent manner over the coming years.

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