Conditions InDepth: Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Synovium—A capsule that surrounds and protects the joint. The tissue also produces a fluid that helps lubricate and protect the joint.
- Cartilage—Soft tissue that covers the ends of the bone to allow the bones to glide over each other smoothly.
- Tendons—Strong tissue that connects muscle to bone near the joint. The tendons cross over joints and are critical to allowing movement.
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- The lungs and the lining that surrounds them
- The heart and the lining that surrounds it
- Artery walls
- The whites of the eyes—sclera
- Genetic factors—faulty genes may redirect immune system to attack specific healthy tissue
- Environmental factors—may trigger gene defect and/or cause change in immune system
- Chemical or hormonal imbalances in the body
Handout on health: Rheumatoid arthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Rheumatic%5FDisease/default.asp. Updated August 2014. Accessed October 29, 2014.
Rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/rheumatoid-arthritis. October 29, 2014.
Rheumatoid arthritis. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal%5Fand%5Fconnective%5Ftissue%5Fdisorders/joint%5Fdisorders/rheumatoid%5Farthritis%5Fra.html. Updated May 2013. Accessed October 29, 2014.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 10, 2014. Accessed October 29, 2014.
Wasserman AM. Diagnosis and management of rheumatoid arthritis. Am Fam Physician. 2011;84(11):1245-1252.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/20/2015 -
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