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Polyarticular disease 

Polyarticular disease
Polyarticular disease
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Ade Adebajo

and Lisa Dunkley

Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

Polyarticular disease is a commonly encountered musculoskeletal problem which regularly confronts clinicians as a diagnostic dilemma. Polyarticular disease is a musculoskeletal presentation in which more than four joints are affected by the disease. The classical rheumatological condition which presents as polyarticular disease is rheumatoid arthritis, although even this condition can very occasionally present with a mono- or oligoarticular onset. Polyarticular disease includes a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions including such disorders as polyarticular gout, the seronegative spondyloarthropathies, rheumatic fever, and systemic lupus erythematosus. This chapter emphasizes how through a careful history, thorough clinical examination and appropriate investigations, a definitive diagnosis can be made in a patient presenting clinically with polyarticular disease. General management principles for patients with polyarticular disease are also provided.

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