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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48-51

Early rheumatoid arthritis: clinical and therapeutic evaluation in a tertiary care centre in India

Rheumatology Clinic, IPGMER, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
B Ghosh
Rheumatology Clinic, IPGMER, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Patients with early rheumatoid arthritis may show a qualitative change in their short-term outcome if they are treated at presentation. We tried to evaluate these patients on disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) commenced at diagnosis. Methods: 110 consecutive patients enrolled in this study from our rheumatology clinic, fulfilling American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 1987 revised criteria for classification of RA with disease duration of less than 6 months who had not received any DMARD. Patients were randomized to two groups irrespective of clinical, serological and radiological findings and assigned to treatment with either MTX + HCQ or SSZ + HCQ and were followed for 6 months. Results: There were statistically significant differences in clinical and laboratory parameters after 6 months in com- parison to baseline within each group but not between the two groups. There was good correlation between DAS28 and CRP when compared at baseline and after 6 months of treatment in both the treatment groups. Conclusions: Disease control is the real goal of treatment of early RA irrespective of the DMARD regimen employed. Radiological changes may be found even in early RA and may call for more aggressive management in some patients. Costly estimation of CRP should give way to simple estimation of DAS28.

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