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Rheumatoid arthritis 

Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis

Ravinder Nath Maini


August 28, 2014: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.


Chapter reviewed in December 2013—minor updates made

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date: 24 September 2021

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common, painful, and disabling disease affecting 0.8 to 1.0% of the adult population worldwide, with a female:male ratio of 3:1.

The predominant feature of the disease is a deforming and destructive polyarthritis, with (less commonly) extra-articular manifestations such as subcutaneous nodule formation, serositis, vasculitis, fibrosing alveolitis, amyloidosis, and Felty’s syndrome. Patients also exhibit systemic features of inflammation, including fatigue, anaemia, weight loss, a raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and elevated concentrations of acute phase proteins....

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