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Appropriate and effective management of rheumatoid arthritis
  1. F C Breedveld1,
  2. J R Kalden2
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine III, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor F C Breedveld
    Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands;


Early referral (at <3 months) and early DMARD treatment enable the course of RA to be changed. Once the disease has become aggressive it is much harder to treat and improvements will not be as great as they would have been with earlier treatment. The latest strategies and treatments enable remission to be achieved in many more patients than formerly.

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • management
  • ACR, American College of Rheumatology
  • CTLA-4, cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4
  • DAS, disease activity score
  • DMARDs, disease modifying antirheumatic drugs
  • HAQ, Health Assessment Questionnaire
  • IL, interleukin
  • MMP, matrix metalloproteinase
  • MTX, methotrexate
  • NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • RA, rheumatoid arthritis
  • TNF, tumour necrosis factor

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