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Monday, June 18, 2012
  Clinical Accuracy Spoken Here  

Atypical RA Presentation

Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages. Atypical presentations include:

  • Intermittent joint inflammation that can be confused with gout or pseudo gout
  • Proximal muscle pain and tenderness mimicking polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Diffuse musculoskeletal pain seen in fibromyalgia

Unlike osteoarthritis (OA), the complications of RA go beyond the joints. Early diagnosis and treatment can help people who have RA live longer, more active lives.

[Reference: RA, Module B, Assessment and Complications]
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  Excellence in Case Mgmt  

Psychological Burden of RA

Cognitive behavioral therapy may improve the quality of life for RA patients.

CMs can help coordinate these therapies which, alongside conventional treatments, may enable RA patients to better cope with the psychological burden of this chronic condition.

RA patients with depression should also be considered for anti-depressants.

[Reference: RA, Module D, CM Role]
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  Improving Patient Care...  

Modulate Immune Response
to Treat RA

RA is a chronic inflammatory state that stimulates proliferation of synovial cells with the formation of pannus, a destructive tissue that erodes cartilage and bone.

Some 30% of patients have evidence of irreversible bony erosions at the time of diagnosis, increasing to 60% by the two-year mark.

Because the root of the pathologic process is inflammation arising from an activated autoimmune response, the modulation of the immune response has served as a target for therapy.

In human studies, treatment with anti-TNF-alpha antibodies relieves symptoms associated with RA.

[Reference: RA, Module C, Treatments and Interventions]
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Tom RasmussenTom Rasmussen
Publisher
Athena Forum
Tom.Rasmussen@AthenaForum.com

 
 

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Cathy WrightCathy Wright, BSN, RN
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