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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Is Rheumatism a Progressive Disease Even with Treatments?

12/08/2008

Question:

There is no way that my Rheumatism will go into remmission now. Is Rheumatism always a progressive disease even with treatments?

Answer:

Experts in the field of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) debate how to define achieving disease remission. Additionally, progression of disease of can be thought of in multiple ways. With these considerations in mind, RA disease progression is often defined as progressive joint destruction on x-rays or other imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imagine (MRI) or ultrasound. Medications used to treat RA that can modify the disease have demonstrated a slowing or halting of joint destruction on x-rays. However, the exuberance of the disease slowing or halting varies from individual to individual. It is more probable that radiographic destruction will be slowed rather than halted over a defined period of time (6 months, 1 year or longer).

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University