Alterations in Immunity: Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
    • one of the most common connective tissue diseases and is the most destructive to the joints.
    • it's a chronic, progressive, systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease process that affects primarily the synovial joints.
  2. What does systemic mean?
    It means this disease affects the body system, affecting many joints and other tissues.
  3. What are rheumatoid factors (RF)?
    Autoantibodies in RA that are formed and attack healthy tissue, especially synovium, causing inflammation. They consist mainly of Immunoglobulins M and G and they bind with antigens forming immune complexes.
  4. What is pannus?
    vascular granulation tissue composed of inflammatory cells; it erodes articular cartilage and eventually destroys bone.
  5. What are early signs and symptoms of RA?
    joint stiffness, swelling, pain, fatigue, generalized weakness, and morning stiffness.
  6. The upper extremity joints are involved initially, often the proximal interphalangeal joints of the hands during early disease manifestation. True/ False
  7. What does it mean if one with RA experiences only one hot, swollen, painful joint?
    it may mean the joint is infected.
  8. What is gel phenomenon?
    Gel phenomenon is frequent morning stiffness that normally last about 45mins to several hours after awakening. It usually occurs in the late manifestations of RA.
  9. What are some systemic complications of RA?
    weight loss, fever, extreme fatigue, subcutaneous nodules, vasculitis, periungal lesions, paresthesias, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  10. What are exacerbations?
  11. What are subcutaneous nodules?
    round, movable, nontender nodules that usually appear on the ulnar surface of the arm, on the fingers, or along the Achilles tendon. They can disappear and reappear at any time.
  12. What are periungual lesions?
    small, brownish spots that appear in groups...mostly found around the nail bed.
  13. What is paresthesias?
    a burning and tingling sensation...mostly common in older adults.
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Alterations in Immunity: Rheumatoid Arthritis
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