Posted on by Dr Humeira Badsha
The field of rheumatology is witnessing a remarkable revolution as the prospects for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) continue to improve dramatically. This change results from two main factors: 1) the more effective utilization of older disease modify- ing antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate alone or in combination with recently available targeted therapies; and 2) a landmark shift in therapeutic strategy. Several trials have clearly shown that early achievement of low disease activity through DMARD use has a strong positive outcome on the disease course. By its nature, this approach necessitates the assessment of disease activity by objective, well-validated measures as well as frequent adjustment of therapy to push toward remission.
Rheumatologists now know the importance of treating early disease; however, the criteria for RA are undergoing changes. The purpose of these revised criteria is increased sensitivity and specificity to diagnose RA in an early phase of disease.
Full article can be found on page 20 of Septemer 2010 PDF of The Rheumatologist.
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