Evaluating patients with arthritis of recent onset: studies in pathogenesis and prognosis.
ABSTRACT Inflammatory synovitis of recent onset poses a diagnostic and prognostic challenge to primary care physicians and rheumatologists. A lack of understanding of the underlying etiologic and pathogenic processes limits the ability to distinguish forms of arthritis that follow a benign, self-limiting course from forms that proceed to an aggressive, erosive disease requiring intensive immunosuppressive therapy. It is estimated that between 30% and 40% of patients presenting with early synovitis have disease that remains unclassified. Using data from a cohort of patients with early synovitis and reviewing current literature, we discuss investigational approaches toward a new classification of patients with early synovitis. Although a lack of understanding of this heterogeneous clinical syndrome has led clinicians to take a largely empirical approach to treatment thus far, the evolving awareness of disease predisposition at a genetic level and the expanding ability to specifically manipulate biological pathways may ultimately change the approach to this clinical problem. JAMA. 2000;284:2368-2373.
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ABSTRACT: Identifying the cause of polyarticular joint pain can be difficult because of the extensive differential diagnosis. A thorough history and a complete physical examination are essential. Six clinical factors are helpful in narrowing the possible causes: disease chronology, inflammation, distribution, extra-articular manifestations, disease course, and patient demographics. Patients with an inflammatory arthritis are more likely to have palpable synovitis and morning stiffness; if the condition is severe, they may have fever, weight loss, and fatigue. Viral infections, crystal-induced arthritis, and serum sickness reactions are common causes of acute, self-limited polyarthritis. Because chronic arthritides may present abruptly, they need to be considered in patients who present with acute polyarticular joint pain. Joint palpation can help to distinguish inflammatory synovitis from the bony hypertrophy and crepitus that typically occur with osteoarthritis. Extra-articular manifestations of rheumatologic disease may be helpful in arriving at a more specific diagnosis. Many classic rheumatologic laboratory tests are nonspecific. A complete blood count, urinalysis, and a metabolic panel may provide more useful diagnostic clues. Plain-film radiographs may demonstrate classic findings of specific rheumatologic diseases; however, radiographs can be normal or only show nonspecific changes early in the disease process.American family physician 10/2003; 68(6):1151-60. · 1.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the majority of papers dealing with immune system changes, higher prevalence of autoimmunity and autoimmune diseases among elderly people is stressed as one of the factors confirming the changes of immune system function in aging. This statement is repeated for a very long time and most of the authors treat it as a “stone-carved” truth. However, we will show below that, as we look into this problem in details, there are not so many diseases which appear in the elderly population more frequent to the younger ones. So, where is the problem and why is that so?12/2008: pages 1029-1051;
Arthritis research & therapy 01/2004; 6(6):282-4. · 4.27 Impact Factor