[Bishofit in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis]
To evaluate effectiveness of a natural mineral bishofit in combined treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The study included 71 RA patients with minimal activity of the pathological process and articular disorders of stage II. Bishofit was used in baths and compresses. 33 AR patients of group 1 took bishofit baths (14 procedures) and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), 27 RA patients of group 2 were treated with bishofit compresses (14 procesures) and NSAID, 11 patients of group 3 (controls) received NSAID alone. The effect of the treatment was assessed on the basis of clinical data, the length of the affected joint circumference, antitryptic blood activity, activity of malate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase isoenzymes, plasmin, plasminogen, ESR, sialic acids. Bishofit-treated patients showed earlier (by 5-6 days) and greater (by 25-35%) decrease of the pain, joint and inflammatory indices as well as duration of morning stiffness, length of the affected joint circumference and joint mobility, improvement of the tests' results. A response and an appreciable response to combined therapy with bishofit were achieved in 62.9-63.6% of cases vs 45.5% in the control group. Bishofit baths and compresses did not differ considerably by therapeutic efficacy.