Is the onset of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) insidious or abrupt?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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In most patients, RA has an insidious onset. It may begin with systemic features (eg, fever, malaise, arthralgias, and weakness) before the appearance of overt joint inflammation and swelling. A small percentage (approximately 10%) of patients with this disease have an abrupt onset with the acute development of synovitis and extra-articular manifestations. Spontaneous remission is uncommon, especially after the first 3-6 months.

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