Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive, systemic disease with typical signs in peripheral synovial joints. It is the most common inflammatory rheumatic disease. Its prevalence is approximately 1%. Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in women. It usually starts between the ages of 20-50, although may start at any age.
Clinical findings of rheumatoid arthritis
General findings: fever, sweating, weakness, fatigue, anorexia, anxiety.
Findings in the joint: Joint involvement in rheumatoid arthritis is polyarticular, symmetrical and deforming.
In joints, it happens morning stiffness that lasting longer than 1 hour, pain, swelling, temprature increase and loss of function. There may not be redness.
Most commonly involved joints: proximal interphalangeal joints
Extraarticular findings of rheumatoid arthritis
Subcutaneous nodules are most commonly seen under the olecranon in the elbow.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Muscle involvement: Myositis and drug-induced myopathy can also be seen in rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoporosis: It can be perarticular and diffuse osteoporosis.
Vasculitis: The most common findings in rheumatoid arthritis are Raynaud’s phenomenology, skin and nail lesions, skin ulcers, gangrene, and mononeritis.
Heart involvement: The most common clinical finding is pericarditis. The most common valve disease is mitral insufficiency.
Respiratory system involvement
Pleurisy: This is most common pulmonary involvement of rheumatoid arthritis.The level of sugar in the pleural fluid is very low.
LDH and protein are elevated. It is in exudative character.
Rheumatoid nodules in the lung
Rheumatoid pneumoconiosis ( Caplan’s syndrome ) : Rheumatoid arthritis