JOHN L. DECKER, M.D.; DANIEL G. MALONE, M.D.; BOULOS HARAOUI, M.D.; SHARON M. WAHL, Ph.D.; LESLIE SCHRIEBER, M.D.; JOHN H. KLIPPEL, M.D.; ALFRED D. STEINBERG, M.D.; RONALD L. WILDER, M.D., Ph.D.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory synovitis that primarily involves peripheral diarthrodial joints. Immunohistologic analysis of diseased synovium has shown a spectrum of abnormalities that resemble various stages of a cell-mediated, or delayed-type, immune reaction. The infiltrating mononuclear cells produce various factors that modulate adjacent tissues and appear to produce the characteristic destructive features of the disorder. Our understanding of the mechanisms of action of various therapeutic modes also indicates that the disease is primarily mediated by activated mononuclear cells. All effective therapies have been shown to affect either mononuclear cell function or the rates of production or elimination of these cells. The disorder likely represents the pathologic expression of a genetically controlled host immune response to an undefined causative stimulus. The stimulus could be an infectious agent(s), a product(s) derived from an infectious agent(s), a constituent(s) of synovial or connective tissue, or a combination of these.
DECKER JL, MALONE DG, HARAOUI B, WAHL SM, SCHRIEBER L, KLIPPEL JH, et al. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Evolving Concepts of Pathogenesis and Treatment. Ann Intern Med. 1984;101:810–824. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-101-6-810
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;101(6):810-824.
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