Purpose of review Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic and progressive inflammatory disorder of the synovium characterised by destruction of bone and cartilage. It is associated with significant morbidity and economic costs. Recent advances have shown that early diagnosis and timely, intensive therapy of rheumatoid arthritis can modify disease outcomes.Recent findings Current investigations into the role of ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging in early rheumatoid arthritis suggest these modalities will provide information to assist in the early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, identify poor prognostic factors, and aid in the monitoring of response to therapy. New developments in pharmacologic therapy, particularly the development of biologic agents, allow better disease control than was previously achievable, and the early application of these drugs in combination with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs seems to produce the best outcomes.Summary The application of novel imaging techniques will aid the target application of biologic therapy within the window of opportunity and aid in the monitoring of response to therapy. This is likely to significantly decrease the rate of structural damage and offers hope of a future when the normal outcome for rheumatoid arthritis will be remission.
|Journal||Current Opinion in Rheumatology|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|