New Definition Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid Arthritis 5.0

Rheumatologists have remade rheumatoid arthritis, a pretty big deal for them if only because it’s “the major systemic rheumatic disease that we as a specialty treat,” said Dr. Michael E. Weinblatt, a Harvard rheumatologist, at the end of a 90 minute session on Sunday afternoon that unveiled a new definition of rheumatoid arthritis to the world.

The culmination of a 3-year collaboration between the American College of Rhuematology and the European league Aagainst Rhuematoism (EULAR), the new RA definition, the first in more than 20 years, is a consensus agreement from a large panel of experts on which patients with a new inflammatory arthritis have enough risk of progressing to erosive arthrtis that all rheumatologists would immediately start treatment with a disease modifying drug…

This is actually the fifth definition of rheumatoid arthritis, a lineage that began just over 50 years ago…

But the main message at Sunday’s session on what this means was that “this sets the stage for us to treat patients earlier,” Dr. Weinblatt said. “It will allow more rapid institution of disease-modifying therapy.”

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The latest news from the 2009 ACR/ARHP Scientific Meeting

Updated: For a more detailed explanation of the new diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis, please see: