Clinical Features, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ariadne V. Ebel, James R. O'Dell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by prolonged morning stiffness, synovitis of the small joints of the hands and feet and with extraarticular manifestations. Marginal erosions and periarticular osteopenia are typical radiographic findings. Early diagnosis and initiation of disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy are key to the prevention of joint destruction and deformity. Methotrexate is first-line therapy, but some patients require combination therapy to achieve low disease activity or remission. Advancements in RA therapies have improved the prognosis for RA patients. Most RA patients diagnosed and treated early should obtain remission if they continue to take their medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-60
Number of pages20
JournalPhysician Assistant Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Anticitrullinated protein antibody
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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