(VIDEO) Researchers in Norway used data from an observational study of patients with swollen joints to see how many with early signs of rheumatoid arthritis recovered without any treatment at all, and how quickly.
How large is the window of opportunity for early DMARD treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? And if you catch the symptoms quickly enough, what are the odds that you will initiate treatment for someone who would not have developed full-blown RA at all?
Researchers in Norway used data from a multicenter observational study of patients with swollen joints to see how many patients who showed early signs of RA actually recovered without any DMARD whatever, and how quickly.
"We found that when the duration of joint swelling was less than six weeks, 24% of the patients experienced resolving arthritis," says rheumatologist Ellen Sauar Norli MD in this video.
The study also showed a very strong correlation between the duration of joint swelling and outcome, according to number of classification criteria points for RA. The study provides specific hallmarks for avoiding overtreatment due to over-enthusiastic application of the mandate to detect and treat RA as early as possible.