Treatment Strategies in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prevention of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Current Rheumatology Reports, 07/16/2012
Demoruelle MK et al. – Studies have shown that pharmacologic interventions can delay progression from undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis to classifiable rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, further investigation is needed to identify asymptomatic individuals at high risk for future RA and to intervene early enough in the pathogenesis of RA to prevent progression to clinical disease.
- Data now suggest that current strategies in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should focus on early identification and diagnosis, followed by early initiation of DMARD therapy.
- Initiation of treatment in early RA—ideally, less than 3–6 months after symptom onset—improves the success of achieving disease remission and reduces joint damage and disability.
- While the optimal treatment regimen in early RA is unclear, use of initial DMARD mono– or combination therapy with prompt escalation to achieve low disease activity or remission is an appropriate approach.
- Ultimately, the goal of RA management should be the prevention of inflammatory joint disease and, thereby, prevention of disability.