Rheumatoid arthritis

Key Information

Appropriate Tests


The diagnosis is made by clinical assessment of a polyarthritis persisting for more than 12 weeks and imaging. Full blood count, C-Reactive protein, Erythrocyte sedimentation rate to confirm the diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis.

A positive Rheumatoid factor and Cyclic citrullinated peptide Ab contributes to the diagnosis. 

Antinuclear Ab, Creatinine, Liver function tests, Urate, Parvovirus, Barmah forest virus, Ross River virus serology.

See also Rheumatoid arthritis (juvenile)

Extra-articular manifestations


Rheumatoid nodules


Anaemia of chronic disease




Pleural effusion


Interstitial lung disease


Sjögren syndrome



Complement components C3 and C4



Felty syndrome

Lymphocyte surface markers.



Treatment-related complications



See also Anaemia of chronic disease

  • Iron deficiency, especially
    • NSAID therapy

Iron studies

  • Haemolysis, especially
    • Salicylazosulphapyridine

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase

  • Marrow suppression, especially
    • Gold
    • Methotrexate

See Pancytopenia

Pneumonitis, especially

  • Methotrexate

See Interstitial lung disease

Nephropathy, especially

  • Gold

See Renal failure

Analgesic abuse

Renal tubulo-interstitial disorders

Hepatitis, especially

  • Methotrexate

See Hepatitis

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