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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


MASSARDO, Loreto. Early rheumatold arthritis. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2008, vol.136, n.11, pp.1468-1475. ISSN 0034-9887.

This article reviews some key issues of early rheumatoid arthritis such as the difficulties to recognize this condition during the first months after onset. Therefore, three reference diagnostic criteria have been proposed for any patient presenting with more than three simultaneously inflammed joints, involvement of  metacarpophalangeal or proximal interphalangeal joints and morning stiffness lasting more than 30 minutes. Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides are new markers that can be used for diagnosis. The immediate treatment during the "opportunity window" at the onset of inflammation may avoid the erosive joint damage. The use of synthetic or biological disease modifying medications, specially tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonists, also contribute to this purpose. Primary care physicians should be aware of the early signs of the disease to provide an adequate treatment and referral to specialists.

Keywords : Arthritis, rheumatold; Early diagnosis; Tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

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