Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease characterized by persistent symmetric polyarthritis (synovitis) primarily affecting the hands and feet. The pathogenesis of RA is thought to involve a genetically susceptible individual being exposed to an external trigger, such as cigarette smoking, infection, or trauma, that initiates an autoimmune response. Although no single laboratory test is diagnostic of RA, the presence of both anti–cyclic citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) and rheumatoid factor (RF) positivity is highly specific for this condition. Optimal management of patients with RA requires a comprehensive approach that incorporates both nonpharmacologic interventions and pharmacologic agents such as nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as well as biologic DMARDs (bDMARDs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, and corticosteroids.
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Cite this: Evan Dombrosky. Rapid Review Quiz: Rheumatoid Arthritis Complications and Risk Factors - Medscape - Sep 25, 2023.