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Arthritis, Rheumatoid (RA)

Theresa A. Townley, MPH, MD and Sonia Gupta, MD Reviewed 06/2022
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease primarily causing synovial inflammation leading to the destruction of bone and cartilage  (1).

  • Classification: based on the...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Arthritis is insidious in onset, symmetrically involving small joints, morning stiffness ≥1 hour, low-grade fever, and weight loss. 

PHYSICAL EXAM

  • Swelling and tenderness of metacarpoph...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

Smoking cessation, well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, good dental hygiene 

MEDICATION

ONGOING CARE

DIET

Avoid fatty foods and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. 

PROGNOSIS

Poor prognosis with autoantibody and longer disease duration, HLA, erosive disease 

COMPLICATIONS

Anemia, lymphoprolife...

REFERENCES

1
Aletaha D, Neogi T, Silman AJ, et al. 2010 rheumatoid arthritis classification criteria: An American college of rheumatology/European league against rheumatism collaborative initiative. Ar...

ADDITIONAL READING

SEE ALSO

  • Cush JJ. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Early Diagnosis and Treatment. Med Clin North Am. 2021 Mar;105(2):355-365. 

  • Sánchez-Flóre...

CODES

ICD10

  • M06.9 Rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified

  • M05.60 Rheu arthritis of unsp site w involv of organs and systems

  • M05.30 Rheumatoid heart disease w rheumatoid arthritis of unsp site

  • M05.70 Rheu arthri...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Early treatment with DMARDs is essential.

  • Methotrexate is the first-line treatment for active disease and glucocorticoids are used for flares if patients are already on DMARD therapy.

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