Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis that affects the adult population. Early diagnosis and treatment are the cornerstones to prevent joint damage and avoid long-term costs and disability. This article reviews the limitations of the currently available tools for the evaluation of patients with early arthritis, including clinical assessment, serologic markers and imaging modalities. It also discusses gene expression analysis, a newer and potentially promising approach to the early diagnosis of RA.
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis in a typical case depends upon a history of pain and swelling of various joints throughout the body. In the first stages the disease usually involves only the small joints of the hands and feet, but sooner or later it spreads to the larger joints. This may be accompanied by fibrosis of one or more joints, causing disability ranging from disuse of one joint up to total incapacity. Diagnosis in early or atypical cases is often impossible until the patient has been under observation a long time. It is important that diagnosis be made as early as possible, in order that appropriate therapy may be started and ankylosis and disability of the joints prevented.
Since laboratory procedures and roentgen films do not show early changes, emphasis is placed on the history and physical examination for diagnosis.
Assessing the pathology of the synovium, its thickening and increased vascularity through ultrasound and magnetic resonance examinations (more often an ultrasound study alone) is still considered a sensitive parameter in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and in monitoring of treatment efficacy. Magnetic resonance studies showed that, aside from the joint pannus, the subchondral bone tissue constitutes an essential element in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Bone marrow edema correlates with inflammation severity, joint destruction, clinical signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and thus is considered a predictor of rapid radiological progression of the disease. The newest studies reveal that bone marrow edema may be a more sensitive indicator of the response to therapy than appearance of the synovium. Bone marrow edema presents with increased signal in T2-weighted images, being most visible in fat saturation or IR sequences (STIR, TIRM). On the other hand, it is hypointense and less evident in T1-weighted images. It becomes enhanced (hyperintense) after contrast administration. Histopathological studies confirmed that it is a result of bone inflammation (osteitis/osteomyelitis), i.e. replacememt of bone marrow fat by inflammatory infiltrates containing macrophages, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, plasma cells and osteoclasts. Bone marrow edema appears after a few weeks from occurrence of symptoms and therefore is considered an early marker of inflammation. It correlates with clinical assessment of disease activity and elevated markers of acute inflammatory phase, i.e. ESR and CRP. It is a reversible phenomenon and may become attenuated due to biological treatment. It is considered a “herald” of erosions, as the risk of their formation is 6-fold higher in sites where BME was previously noted
rheumatoid arthritis; pathogenesis; radiography; ultrasonography; magnetic resonance imaging; bone marrow edema
To study the ability of low‐cost low‐field dedicated extremity magnetic resonance imaging (E‐MRI) to assess and predict erosive joint damage in the wrist and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.
24 previously untreated patients with rheumatoid arthritis with joint symptoms for <1 year were evaluated at the time of diagnosis and after 6 and 12 months of methotrexate treatment with conventional clinical or biochemical examinations, x rays of both hands and wrists, and E‐MRI of the dominant wrist and MCP joints.
At baseline, all patients showed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) synovitis, and MRI erosions were detected in 21 bones (10 patients). 6 (29%) of these, distributed among two patients, were seen on x ray. One x ray erosion was not detected by MRI. At 1 year, MRI and x ray detected 15 and 8 new erosions, respectively, and 19% of MRI erosions at baseline had progressed to x ray erosions. In bones with MRI erosions at baseline, the relative risk of having x ray erosions at the 1‐year follow‐up was 12.1, compared with bones without baseline MRI erosions (lesion‐centred analysis). If bones with baseline x ray erosions were excluded, the relative risk was 5.2. In patients with baseline MRI bone erosion or oedema, the relative risk of having x ray erosions at 1 year was 4.0, compared with patients without these signs at baseline (patient‐centred analysis).
In this group of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis who were treated uniformly, baseline E‐MRI erosions in MCP or wrist bones markedly increased the risk of x ray erosions at the 1‐year follow‐up. Low‐cost, low‐field dedicated extremity MRI is promising for assessment and prognostication of early rheumatoid arthritis.
Suitable biomarkers are essential for therapeutic strategies in personalized medicine in terms of diagnosis as well as of prognosis. With highly specific biomarkers, it is possible, for example, to identify patients with poor prognosis, which enables early intervention and intensive treatment. The aim of this study was to identify and validate biomarkers and possible combinations for a prospective use in immunoscintigraphy, which may improve diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with consideration of inflammatory activity in the affected joints. Therefore, we tested several monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against cellular-surface molecules on cells likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of RA.
Synovial tissue from patients with long-standing RA (accompanied by synovitis with varying states of current activity) and patients with acute non-RA arthritis were stained for surface molecules on different cell types by using fluorochrome-labeled antibodies. Tissue analysis was done by laser scanning cytometry (LSC), and statistical evaluation, by discriminant analysis and ROC analysis.
CD11b, HLA-DR, CD90, and CD64 revealed significant differences between tissues from patients with RA and acute non-RA arthritis. Especially with the expression of CD64, both patient cohorts could be discriminated with high sensitivity and specificity. RA classification was improved by simultaneously investigating the expression of two or three different surface proteins, such as HLA-DR, CD90, and CD29 in the tissue. The simultaneous analysis of CD64 together with CD304 or the combination of CD11b and CD38 was suitable for the identification of RA patients with high current activity in synovitis.
In this study, we showed that LSC is a novel reliable method in biomarker prevalidation in RA. Hence, identified mAbs in situ may allow their potential use in in vivo approaches. Moreover, we proved that biomarker-combination analysis resulted in better discrimination than did single-marker analysis. Combinations of these markers make a novel and reliable panel for the discrimination between RA and acute non-RA arthritis. In addition, further expedient combinations may be novel promising biomarker panels to identify current activity in synovitis in RA.
Effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been hampered by the heterogeneity of the disease. Although early intervention can result in disease remission, it requires early diagnosis – and current diagnostic tests are not sufficiently accurate or sensitive in the early stages of RA. As a result, RA is typically diagnosed only once damage to the joints has already begun, a time at which the window for optimal treatment may have been missed. Furthermore, a significant proportion of RA patients do not respond to any given therapeutic. Research efforts are increasingly focused on discovery of biomarkers that enable early diagnosis and stratification of RA, and thus the implementation of timely, targeted therapy. Biomarkers have the potential to transform the management of RA by enabling not only early diagnosis, but also assessment and prediction of disease severity, selection of therapy, and monitoring of response to therapy. In this mini review, we discuss the development of molecular biomarkers for RA.
Proteomics; genomics; autoimmunity; autoantibodies; cytokines; biomarkers
Rapid and accurate measurements of protein biomarkers, pathogens and cells in biological samples could provide useful information for early disease diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and design of personalized medicine. In general, biological samples have only negligible magnetic susceptibility. Thus, using magnetic nanoparticles for biosensing not only enhances sensitivity but also effectively reduces sample preparation needs. This review focuses on the use of magnetic nanoparticles for in vitro detection of biomolecules and cells based on magnetic resonance effects. This detection platform, termed diagnostic magnetic resonance (DMR), exploits magnetic nanoparticles as proximity sensors, which modulate the spin–spin relaxation time of water molecules surrounding molecularly-targeted nanoparticles. By developing more effective magnetic nanoparticle biosensors, DMR detection limits for various target moieties have been considerably improved over the last few years. Already, a library of magnetic nanoparticles has been developed, in which a wide range of targets, including DNA/mRNA, proteins, small molecules/drugs, bacteria, and tumor cells, have been quantified. More recently, the capabilities of DMR technology have been further advanced with new developments such as miniaturized nuclear magnetic resonance detectors, better magnetic nanoparticles and novel conjugational methods. These developments have enabled parallel and sensitive measurements to be made from small volume samples. Thus, the DMR technology is a highly attractive platform for portable, low-cost, and efficient biomolecular detection within a biomedical setting.
biosensor; diagnostics; magnetic nanoparticle; microfluidics; nuclear magnetic resonance
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis were assessed by clinical evaluation, radiography, and joint scintigraphy using technetium labelled methylene diphosphonate (MDP) and technetium labelled liposomes. Although both scanning techniques were more sensitive than radiographs in detecting joint disease, the liposomes scans were positive only in clinically active inflammatory disease. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis liposome scintigraphy was also able to discriminate between different grades of joint tenderness. In inactive inflammatory polyarthropathies, although the MDP bone scans continued to show increased activity, the liposome scans did not and were therefore a more accurate reflection of the clinical state. The increased uptake in the liposome scans may be due to incorporation of the liposomes into the phagocytic cells of the synovium. This scan may, therefore, by reflecting the activity of cells involved in the disease process, provide a useful way of assessing disease activity and progression.
Because early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is difficult increasingly important, we have assessed the value of laboratory investigation in 85 patients with knee effusions studied from presentation and followed for sufficiently long periods to allow a definite diagnosis. Histopathology on needle biopsy specimens narrowed the differential diagnosis to rheumatoid arthritis and closely related conditions even at an early stage of disease and also allowed recognition of other conditions which would not otherwise have been detected. Immunofluorescence on similar specimens further narrowed differential diagnosis since the presence of IgM was found to be very suggestive of rheumatoid arthritis. Other tests were of less value. It is concluded that laboratory investigation can improve diagnostic sensitivity and specificity in relatively early rheumatoid arthritis.
The first-line imaging technique for diagnosis inflammation in musculo-skeletal organs in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is planar X-ray examination, which was for many years the first and the only single tool for RA diagnostics and response evaluation. Today, in the era of more aggressive RA treatment, ultrasound examination (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also frequently used. US is used to detect early signs of inflammation within the soft tissue. MRI allows to assess the soft tissue and bone marrow involvement in case of inflammation and/or infection. MRI is capable of detecting more inflammatory lesions and erosions than US, X-ray, or CT. Standard scintigraphy plays a crucial role, and data from positron emission tomography (PET) are also promising. These functional imaging techniques are used in detection of inflammation and/or infection in case of ambiguous results being obtained by other techniques or at other clinics. In patients with RA, scintigraphy plays a key role in the differential diagnosis of hip, knee, etc. endoprosthesis disorders, including mechanical or septic loosening.
rheumatoid arthritis; imaging: X-ray; CT; MRI; scintigraphy; PET
Bowel endometriosis affects between 3.8% and 37% of women with endometriosis. The evaluation of symptoms and clinical examination are inadequate for an accurate diagnosis of intestinal endometriosis. Transvaginal ultrasonography is the first line investigation in patients with suspected bowel endometriosis and allows accurate determination of the presence of the disease. Radiological techniques (such as magnetic resonance imaging and multidetector computerized tomography enteroclysis) are useful for estimating the extent of bowel endometriosis. Hormonal therapies (progestins, gonadotropin releasing hormone analogues and aromatase inhibitors) significantly improve pain and intestinal symptoms in patients with bowel stenosis less than 60% and who do not wish to conceive. However, hormonal therapies may not prevent the progression of bowel endometriosis and, therefore, patients receiving long-term treatment should be periodically monitored. Surgical excision of bowel endometriosis should be offered to symptomatic patients with bowel stenosis greater than 60%. Intestinal endometriotic nodules may be excised by nodulectomy or segmental resection. Both surgical procedures improve pain, intestinal symptoms and fertility. Nodulectomy may be associated with a lower rate of complications.
Bowel endometriosis; Diagnosis; Endometriosis; Gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue; Laparoscopy; Nodulectomy; Progestin; Colorectal resection
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. To date, studies have shown that pharmacologic interventions can delay progression from undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis to classifiable 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.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Early treatment; Prevention; Treatment; Strategies; Management; Therapy; DMARD; Joint damage; Autoimmunity
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), also termed primary, induction, or preoperative chemotherapy, is traditionally used to downstage inoperable breast cancer. In recent years it has been increasingly used for patients who have operable cancers in order to facilitate breast-conserving surgery, achieve better cosmetic outcome, and improve prognosis by reaching pathologic complete response (pCR). Many studies have demonstrated that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can assess residual tumor size after NAC, and that provides critical information for planning of the optimal surgery. NAC also allows for timely adjustment of administered drugs based on response, so ineffective regimens could be terminated early to spare patients from unnecessary toxicity while allowing other effective regimens to work sooner. This review article summarizes the clinical application of MRI during NAC. The use of different MR imaging methods, including dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI, proton MR spectroscopy, and diffusion-weighted MRI, to monitor and evaluate the NAC response, as well as how changes of parameters measured at an early time after initiation of a drug regimen can predict final treatment outcome, are reviewed. MRI has been proven a valuable tool and will continue to provide important information facilitating individualized image-guided treatment and personalized management for breast cancer patients undergoing NAC.
Heterotopic ossification is a condition affecting an appreciable minority of critical care patients; it can have long-lasting effects on recovery and return to functional status. Ectopic bone forms in soft tissues near the large joints, causing pain, swelling, limitation of movement and ultimate disability. X-ray changes may be delayed for several weeks after the diagnosis is clinically suspected. Magnetic resonance imaging may be more sensitive for detecting early changes, yielding positive results several weeks before X-rays. However it is not clear that diagnosing the process early will influence long-term patient outcome, because no effective treatments are available.
Infectious ileopectineal bursitis is a rare complication after total hip replacement and is associated mainly with rheumatoid arthritis. The main complications are local swelling and pain, but communication of the inflamed bursa with the joint can occur, leading to subsequent cartilage damage and bone destruction.
We report a case of a 47-year-old Caucasian woman without rheumatoid arthritis who reported pain and palsy in her left leg almost one year after total hip replacement. She was diagnosed with an ileopectineal bursitis after total hip replacement, leading to femoral nerve palsy. The diagnosis was obtained by thorough clinical examination, the results of focused computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of non-infectious ileopectineal bursitis in a patient without rheumatoid arthritis as a complication of total hip replacement. This rare case underlines the importance of proper neurologic examination of persistent conditions after orthopedic intervention in otherwise healthy individuals. We believe this case should be useful for a broad spectrum of medical specialties, including orthopedics, neurology, radiology, and general practice.
Synovial tissue is readily accessible by closed needle or arthroscopic biopsy. These techniques provide adequate tissue for most diagnostic requirements. Examination of synovial tissue can assist in the diagnosis of some joint infections, and in several atypical or rare synovial disorders. Histological confirmation is not normally required for diagnosis of the common forms of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In patients with either established or early RA, immunohistological measures of inflammation in synovial tissue are associated with clinical measures of disease activity, may predict the clinical outcome, and change in response to treatment. Surrogate markers of disease activity and outcome that have been identified in synovial tissue include components of the cellular infiltrate, and several mediators of inflammation and matrix degradation. There is evidence that the very early introduction of disease-modifying therapy inhibits progressive structural damage maximally. Clinicians exploiting this 'window of opportunity' therefore require very early indicators of the diagnosis and outcome in patients who present with an undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis. Some immunohistological features have been described that distinguish patients who are likely to develop progressive RA and who might benefit most from early aggressive therapeutic intervention. In this regard, the inclusion of pharmacogenomic and proteomic techniques in the analysis of synovial tissue presents some exciting possibilities for future research.
synovial biopsy; diagnosis; early arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; undifferentiated arthritis
Modern imaging modalities, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are valuable diagnostic and therapy monitoring tools in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This article reviewed how these imaging modalities have greatly improved our understanding of pathogenic mechanisms in RA, namely the link between inflammation and damage. For example, traditional paradigms regarding the mechanisms of joint destruction, including the idea that synovitis and damage are uncoupled, have been challenged. As the power of MRI increases, there is a need to define normality since apparently normal joints occasionally exhibit MRI evidence of synovitis in the absence of symptoms.
OBJECTIVE: To review recent developments in diagnosis and treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: Level I evidence from three randomized placebo-controlled trials shows that AS is highly responsive to anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFalpha) therapies when the standard approach of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physical modalities fails. MAIN MESSAGE: Ankylosing spondylitis is associated with disability comparable to that of rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnosis should first focus on eliciting a history of nocturnal back pain, diurnal variation in symptoms with prolonged morning stiffness, and a good response to NSAID therapy. Physical examination is often unrevealing. Pelvic x-ray results are often normal in early disease. Magnetic resonance imaging is the most sensitive imaging technique for detecting early inflammatory lesions and should be considered when history supports the diagnosis but results of plain radiography are normal. When patients have failed at least two courses of NSAID therapy, anti-TNF(alpha)therapies are of proven benefit. CONCLUSION: New magnetic resonance imaging techniques and highly effective therapies make AS more readily detectable and managable.
Long‐standing rheumatoid arthritis produces unique challenges when assessing damage due to joint deformity. The use of extremity magnetic resonance imaging (eMRI) offers the possibility of improved disease assessment because of greater patient tolerability.
The aim of this cross‐sectional study was to compare the identification of wrist erosions in a severe rheumatoid arthritis cohort by eMRI with a restricted field of view (eMRI‐RV) to radiography and high field MRI, using the latter as the reference.
Fifteen patients (87% female, median age 56 years) with active rheumatoid arthritis (median DAS28 7.01 and disease duration 11 years) on leflunomide were enrolled. Radiography of hands, eMRI‐RV (0.2 T MagneVu MV 1000) and high field MRI of unilateral wrist joints were performed.
Of 86 comparable wrist joint areas, high field MRI identified 70 erosions, eMRI‐RV 32 and radiography 4. With high field MRI considered the reference, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of eMRI‐RV for erosions were 46%, 94% and 55%, and the corresponding values for x ray were 6%, 100% and 23%, respectively.
In severely damaged rheumatoid arthritis joints, sensitivity of erosion detection was markedly higher for eMRI‐RV than radiography, using high field MRI as the reference. eMRI‐RV was, however, less sensitive than high field MRI.
Background: Early treatment prevents progression of joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but diagnosis in early disease is impeded by lack of appropriate diagnostic criteria.
Objective: To study the value of rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide autoantibodies (anti-CCP), and anti-RA33 autoantibodies for diagnosis of RA and prediction of outcome in patients with very early arthritis.
Methods: The prospective follow up inception cohort included 200 patients with very early (<3 months) inflammatory joint disease. Autoantibodies were measured at baseline and analysed in a tree based model which aimed at determining the added diagnostic value of testing for anti-CCP and anti-RA33 as compared with RF alone.
Results: RA was diagnosed in 102 patients, while 98 developed other inflammatory arthropathies. Receiver operator curve analysis showed an optimum cut off level for RF at 50 U/ml, above which anti-CCP and anti-RA33 had no additional diagnostic value. Remarkably, RF ⩾50 U/ml and anti-CCP showed similar sensitivity and high specificity for RA, but overlapped considerably. Anti-RA33 was less specific and did not correlate with RF or anti-CCP. Among patients with RA, 72% showed at least one of these three autoantibodies, compared with 15% of non-RA patients. RF ⩾50 U/ml and anti-CCP were predictors of erosive disease, whereas anti-RA33 was associated with mild disease.
Conclusions: Stepwise autoantibody testing in early inflammatory joint disease, starting with RF, followed by anti-CCP (in patients with RF <50 U/ml), and finally anti-RA33, should be used as a sensitive and effective strategy for distinguishing patients with RA at high risk for poor outcome.
Arthritis is a chronic disease with a significant impact on the population. It damages the cartilage, synovium, and bone of the joints causing pain, impairment, and disability in patients. Current methods for diagnosis of and monitoring the disease are only able to detect clinical manifestations of arthritis late in the process. However, with the recent onset of successful treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, it becomes important to identify prognostic factors that can predict the evolution of arthritis. This is especially critical in the early phases of disease so that these treatments can be started as soon as possible to slow down progression of the disease. A valuable approach to monitor arthritis would be by measuring biological markers of cartilage degradation and repair to reflect variations in joint remodeling. One such potential biological marker of arthritis is cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). In various studies, COMP has shown promise as a diagnostic and prognostic indicator and as a marker of the disease severity and the effect of treatment. This review highlights the progress in the utilization of COMP as a biomarker of arthritis.
cartilage oligomeric matrix protein; arthritis; biomarker
Early therapy improves outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is therefore important to improve predictive algorithms for RA in early disease. This study evaluated musculoskeletal ultrasound, a sensitive tool for the detection of synovitis and erosions, as a predictor of outcome in very early synovitis.
58 patients with clinically apparent synovitis of at least one joint and symptom duration of ≤3 months underwent clinical, laboratory, radiographic and 38 joint ultrasound assessments and were followed prospectively for 18 months, determining outcome by 1987 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and 2010 ACR/European League Against Rheumatism criteria. Sensitivity and specificity for 1987 RA criteria were determined for ultrasound variables and logistic regression models were then fitted to evaluate predictive ability over and above the Leiden rule.
16 patients resolved, 13 developed non-RA persistent disease and 29 developed RA by 1987 criteria. Ultrasound demonstrated subclinical wrist, elbow, knee, ankle and metatarsophalangeal joint involvement in patients developing RA. Large joint and proximal interphalangeal joint ultrasound variables had poor predictive ability, whereas ultrasound erosions lacked specificity. Regression analysis demonstrated that greyscale wrist and metacarpophalangeal joint involvement, and power Doppler involvement of metatarsophalangeal joints provided independently predictive data. Global ultrasound counts were inferior to minimal power Doppler counts, which significantly improved area under the curve values from 0.905 to 0.962 combined with the Leiden rule.
In a longitudinal study, extended ultrasound joint evaluation significantly increased detection of joint involvement in all regions and outcome groups. Greyscale and power Doppler scanning of metacarpophalangeal joints, wrists and metatarsophalangeal joints provides the optimum minimal ultrasound data to improve on clinical predictive models for RA.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists are biologic response modifiers that have significantly improved functional outcomes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a progressive disease in which structural joint damage can continue to develop even in the face of symptomatic relief. Before the introduction of biologic agents, the management of RA involved the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) early in the course of disease. This focus on early treatment, combined with the availability of the anti-TNF agents, has contributed to a shift in treatment paradigms favoring the early and timely use of DMARDs with biologic therapies. Improvement in symptom control does not always equate to a reduction in disease progression or disability. With the emergence of structure-related outcome measures as the primary means for assessing the effectiveness of antirheumatic agents, the regular use of X-rays is recommended for the continued monitoring and evaluation of patients. In addition to the control of symptoms and improvement in physical function, a reduction in erosions and joint-space narrowing should be considered among the goals of therapy, leading to a better quality of life. Adherence to therapy is an important element in optimizing outcomes. Durability of therapy with anti-TNF agents as reported from clinical trials can also be achieved in the clinical setting. Concomitant methotrexate therapy might be important in maintaining TNF antagonist therapy in the long term. Overall, the TNF antagonists have led to improvements in clinical and radiographic outcomes in patients with RA, especially those who have failed to show a complete response to methotrexate.
etanercept; infliximab; rheumatoid arthritis
The synovial tissue stands at the epicenter of joint pathology in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). As a primary target of the disease, studies on the synovium have provided invaluable insights into the mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis. Recent work has, however, revealed the importance of a previously unseen anatomic compartment in direct contact with the joint space, namely the subchondral bone marrow. Bone marrow edema (BME) visible on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is clinically meaningful in both early and late RA as it associates with future development of bone erosions and poor functional outcomes. Although the histopathologic correlates of MRI-based BME in early RA remain obscure, studies in advanced disease are consistent in describing lymphocytic inflammatory infiltrates within the subchondral marrow cavity of affected joints. In this review, we discuss the nature of bone marrow lesions in patients with RA, analyze their relationship with synovitis, and explore their potential contribution to the pathological processes of the disease.
Successful treatment of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, is complicated and is affected by a broad range of factors associated with the diagnosis, choice of treatment and social factors. In these patients, treatment management must focus on accurate and early diagnosis, to ensure that correct treatment is administered as soon as possible. In both disorders, the treatment of the disease in the acute phase must be maintained long term to provide continuous relief and normal function; the treatment choice in the early stages of the disease may impact on long-term outcomes. In schizophrenia, treatment non-compliance is an important issue, with up to 50% of patients discontinuing treatment for reasons as diverse as efficacy failure, social barriers, and more commonly, adverse events. Treatment non-compliance also remains an issue in bipolar disorder, as tolerability of mood stabilizers, especially lithium, is not always good, and combination treatments are frequent. In order to achieve an optimal outcome in which the patient continues with their medication life-long, treatment should be tailored to each individual, taking into account treatment and family history, and balancing efficacy with tolerability to maximize patient benefit and minimize the risk of discontinuation. These case studies illustrate how treatment should be monitored, tailored and often changed over time to meet these needs.
bipolar disorder; recurrence; treatment management; schizophrenia; non-compliance; adverse events