Emerging trends in diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.Prim Care 2010; 37(4):779-92, viiPC
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints causing pain and stiffness, pathologically characterized by chronic synovitis. Without proper treatment, it progresses to cause joint deformity that results in significant loss of function. Extra-articular disease can also occur, which exacerbates morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. Patients from all age groups can acquire the disease, hence the additional categories of juvenile onset and elderly onset rheumatoid arthritis. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are the mainstay of therapy, and should be initiated as early as possible in the course of the disease in consultation with a rheumatologist.