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Rheumatoid Arthritis eMedicine Rheumatology (Visit this link)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease of unknown cause that primarily affects the peripheral joints in a symmetric pattern. Constitutional symptoms, including fatigue, malaise, and morning stiffness, are common. Extra-articular involvement of organs such as the skin, heart, lungs, and eyes can be significant. RA causes joint destruction and thus often leads to considerable morbidity and mortality. The treatment of RA is rapidly advancing with the recent addition of new and innovative therapies.
Synonyms and related keywords: RA, systemic inflammatory disease, rheumatoid factor, RF, cyclooxygenase, COX-1, COX-2, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, DMARDs, joint destruction, uncontrolled inflammation, cartilage destruction, bone destruction, morning stiffness, rheumatoid nodules
Howard R Smith, MD 2006

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Added: Thu Apr 10 2008

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