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Clinician Roundtable: Preventing the Progression From Arthralgia to Arthritic Disease

Rheumatology Advisor reported on a study that found autoantibodies and inflammatory markers linked to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) months or years before symptoms appear. According to the article, findings indicated that the disease process in RA evolves long before the condition becomes clinically detectable. With these new developments, there is a growing interest among researchers to start treatment for patients in the "pre-arthritis" phase to prevent the disease entirely.

HSS rheumatologist Susan M. Goodman, MD, who was not involved in the study, commented on the likelihood of detecting patients in the pre-arthritis stage.

"The benefit of intervention at the pre-arthritis stage is not proven…. The difficulty with this approach is that the accurate recognition of pre-arthritis is difficult, and the optimal candidates, optimal timing, and optimal intervention are not known, so overtreatment is a potential problem," said Dr. Goodman.

However, Dr. Goodman pointed out that once a patient is diagnosed with RA, there is a higher chance of achieving remission with early treatment.

Read the full article at rheumatologyadvisor.com