Article by Disease on “Rheumatology”
Abstract: Rheumatoid arthritis is a common chronic inflammatory and destructive arthropathy that consumes considerable personal, social and economic costs. It consists of a syndrome of pain, stiffness and symmetrical inflammation of the synovial membrane (synovitis) of freely moveable joints such as the knee (diarthrodial joints). Although the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis is unclear, the disease is characterized by inflammation of the synovial lining of diarthrodial joints, high synovial proliferation and an influx of inflammatory cells, macrophages and lymphocytes through angiogenic blood vessels. Diseasemodifying antirheumatic drugs slow disease progression and can induce disease remission in some patients. Methotrexate is the first line therapy, but if patients become intolerant to this drug, biologic agents should be used. The development of biological substances for the treatment of rheumatic conditions has been accompanied by ongoing health economic discussions regarding the implementation of these highly effective, but accordingly, highly priced drugs are the standard treatment guidelines of rheumatic diseases. In this way, more efficient strategies have to be identified. Despite numerous reviews in rheumatoid arthritis in the last years, this area is in constant development and updates are an urgent need to incorporate new advances in rheumatoid arthritis research. This review highlights the immunopathogenesis rationale for the current therapeutic strategies in rheumatoid arthritis.