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Rheumatoid arthritis




Musculoskeletal system

Pediatric musculoskeletal conditions
Musculoskeletal injuries and trauma
Bone disorders
Joint disorders
Muscular disorders
Neuromuscular junction disorders
Other autoimmune disorders
Musculoskeletal system pathology review

Rheumatoid arthritis


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High Yield Notes
15 pages

Rheumatoid arthritis

17 flashcards

Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with HLA-


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

5 questions

USMLE® Step 2 style questions USMLE

5 questions

A 33-year-old woman, gravida 0, para 0, comes to the office because of new skin lesions that are tender and painful to touch on her trunk and extremities bilaterally. She has a history of rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed ten years ago, and reports worsening joint pains, intermittent fevers and general malaise. Laboratory analysis is notable for leukocytosis and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Biopsy of one of the lesions shows neutrophilic inflammation without fibrinoid necrosis. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?

External References


Sam Gillespie, BSc

In rheumatoid arthritis, “arthr-“ refers to joints, “-itis” means inflammation, and “rheumatoid” comes from rheumatism, which more broadly refers to a musculoskeletal illness.

So, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory disorder that mostly affects the joints, but can also involve other organ systems like the skin and lungs as well.

Alright, so a healthy joint typically has two bones covered with articular cartilage at the ends.

Articular cartilage is a type of connective tissue that acts like a protective cushion - a lubricated surface for bones to smoothly glide against.

One type of joint, like the knee joint is called a synovial joint.

A synovial joint connects two bones with a fibrous joint capsule that is continuous with the periosteum or outer layer of both bones.

The fibrous capsule is lined with a synovial membrane that has cells that produce synovial fluid and remove debris.

The synovial fluid is normally a viscous fluid like the jelly-like part of a chicken egg and it helps lubricate the joint.

To help serve these synovial cells, the synovial membrane also has blood vessels and lymphatics running through it.

Together, the synovial membrane and the articular cartilage form the inner lining of the joint space.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an au