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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 13 (2006), Issue 2-4, Pages 295-297

Identification of Patients With Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: Challenges and Future Directions

UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.