Rheumatic diseases are usually inflammatory disorders mediated by the immune system. Joints, the spine, vessels, muscles and other organs and structures of the human body can be involved. With the help of the patient's history, characteristic findings in the physical exam as well as special laboratory values and imaging (X-Ray, Ultrasound, CT- and MRI-Scans) a specific diagnosis can be made.
There are many different concepts of therapy available. Control of pain and inflammation is important in the first place, where non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and glucocorticoids („cortisone“) are used. Depending on the diagnosis disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs, e.g. Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, Hydroxychloroquine, Azathioprine) can be added to the treatment. In severe cases there are several other options for a optimal treatment (biologicals or targeted-synthetic DMARDS)
Common rheumatic diseases are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Axial Spondylarthropathies (e.g. Ankylosing Spondylitis)
- Reactive Arthritis
- Connective Tissue Diseases (e.g. Systemic Lupus Erythematodes, Systemic Sclerosis, Sjögren’s Syndrome)
- Vasculitis (Giant-Cell-Arteriitis, Takayasu-Arteriitis, ANCA-associated Vasculitis (GPA, MPA))
- Crystal-arthropathies (e.g. Gout)
- Polymyalgia Rheumatica
- Forms of Myositis and Overlap-Syndromes
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