The pathology of rheumatoid arthritis within the first few months after symptom onset is distinct from that of the early phases of other inflammatory joint diseases and also of established rheumatoid arthritis. New research published today in Arthritis Research & Therapy found that very early rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by a distinct profile of T cell, macrophage and stromal cell related cytokines in synovial fluid.
This finding of a distinct phase of rheumatoid arthritis, immediately after the onset of clinical symptoms, provides a new rationale for the very early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis - before the disease develops into a long-term condition.
The synovium, the connective tissue membrane that lines the joints, is the primary site of pathology in rheumatoid arthritis. Although the processes that maintain long-term inflammation of the synovium in rheumatoid arthritis have been well studied, those initiating the inflammation have not, and very few groups have studied the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis within the first few weeks after the onset of symptoms.
Juliette Savin | EurekAlert!
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