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Evans J, Negoescu A. Early referral improves long-term outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis. Practitioner 2017;261(1804):21-25

Early referral improves long-term outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis

23 May 2017Registered users

Rheumatoid arthritis is a common, chronic systemic inflammatory disease of unclear aetiology leading to synovial hypertrophy and joint inflammation. It typically presents with symmetrical polyarthritis of small joints of the hands or feet, but can also involve larger joints, and have associated extra-articular manifestations. Diagnosis is based on duration of symptoms, joint distribution, level of inflammatory markers and autoantibodies. The presence of synovitis or effusion is essential for diagnosis. Early referral of patients with suspected synovitis results in significant improvements in long-term outcomes.

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