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Arthritis, Rheumatoid

Arthritis, Rheumatoid is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Chronic systemic inflammatory disorder that attacks the joints:
    • Nonsuppurative, proliferative synovitis
    • Destruction of the articular cartilage
    • Ankylosis of the joint
  • Involvement of knee is common.
  • Baker cysts may be seen in chronic disease.
  • Involvement of spine is limited to cervical region:
    • May cause atlantoaxial subluxation
    • Rarely results in cord compression

Pediatric Considerations
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is a distinct entity (see “Arthritis, Juvenile Idiopathic”).
  • Genetics:
    • Genetic predisposition related to HLA-DR4
    • Female-to-male ratio is 3:1.
    • Typical age of onset is between 30 and 50.


  • Etiology is unknown.
  • Possible triggers include infection and autoimmune response.
  • Prevalence is about 1% of both US and world population.

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Arthritis, Rheumatoid." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307380/all/Arthritis__Rheumatoid.
Arthritis, Rheumatoid. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307380/all/Arthritis__Rheumatoid. Accessed April 23, 2019.
Arthritis, Rheumatoid. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307380/all/Arthritis__Rheumatoid
Arthritis, Rheumatoid [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 23]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307380/all/Arthritis__Rheumatoid.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Arthritis, Rheumatoid ID - 307380 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307380/all/Arthritis__Rheumatoid PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -