Detecting the earliest signs of rheumatoid arthritis: Symptoms and examination
Range of Motion, Articular
Signs and symptoms often occur well in advance of a formal diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, these do not necessarily represent symptoms that are included in classification criteria. Their intensity, frequency, and persistence over time seem to be important in the spectrum from preclinical autoimmunity to classifiable RA. Prospective study of signs and symptoms in individuals at risk for RA will help to determine their onset and relationship with epitope spreading, cytokine evolution, sensitive imaging, and their usefulness in discriminating between individuals patients who will develop incident inflammatory arthritis versus normal controls.