Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Eleftherios Pelechas
  • Evripidis Kaltsonoudis
  • Paraskevi V. Voulgari
  • Alexandros A. Drosos


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that is characterised by progressive joint disorder with significant pain and stiffness, which lead to functional disability and systemic complications if left untreated. The direct (health care costs) and indirect (productivity loss) socioeconomic costs of the disease are of major significance. The first evidence of RA was noted in radiological examination of skeletal remains of Tennessee Indians from as early as 4500 BC. The term “rheumatism” dates back to 1630 but in 1859, a physician named Alfred Garrod used the term “rheumatoid arthritis” to describe the disease as we know it today.

References and Further Reading

  1. Alamanos Y, Drosos AA. Epidemiology of adult rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmin Rev. 2005;4(3):130–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alamanos Y, Voulgari PV, Drosos AA. Incidence and prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis, based on the 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria: a systematic review. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2006;36(3):182–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Drosos AA, Alamanos I, Voulgari PV, Psychos DN, Katsaraki A, Papadopoulos I, Dimou G, Siozos C. Epidemiology of adult rheumatoid arthritis in northwest Greece 1987-1995. J Rheumatol. 1997;24(11):2129–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Edwards JC, Szczepanski J, et al. Efficacy on B-cell targeted therapy with rituximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2004;350:2572–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Genovese MC, Becker JC, Schiff M, et al. Abatacept for rheumatoid arthritis refractory to tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibition. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:1114–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Georgiadis AN, Papavasiliou EC, Lourida ES, Alamanos Y, Kostara C, Tselepis AD, Drosos AA. Atherogenic lipid profile is a feature characteristic of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis: effect of early treatment – a prospective, controlled study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2006;8(3):R82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ioannidis JP, Tarassi K, Papadopoulos IA, Voulgari PV, Boki KA, Papasteriades CA, Drosos AA. Shared epitopes and rheumatoid arthritis: disease associations in Greece and meta-analysis of Mediterranean European populations. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2002;31(6):361–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Klareskog L, Stolt P, Lundberg K, Kallberg H, Bengtsson C, Grunewald J, Ronnelid J, Harris HE, Ulfgren AK, Rantapaa-Dahlqvist S, Eklund A, Padyukov L, Alfredsson L. A new model for an etiology of rheumatoid arthritis: smoking may trigger HLA-DR (share epitope)-restricted immune reactions to autoantigens modified by citrullination. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54(1):38–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Markatseli TE, Alamanos Y, Saougou I, Voulgari PV, Drosos AA. Survival of TNF-alpha antagonists in rheumatoid arthritis: a long-term study. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2012;30(1):31–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Markatseli TE, Papagoras C, Nikoli A, Voulgari PV, Drosos AA. Certolizumab for rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2014;32(3):415–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Neogi T, Aletaha D, Silman AJ, et al. The 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2010;62(9):2582–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Papadopoulos NG, Alamanos Y, Papadopoulos IA, Tsifetaki N, Voulgari PV, Drosos AA. Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs in early rheumatoid arthritis: a longterm observational study. J Rheumatol. 2002;29(2):261–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Papadopoulos NG, Alamanos Y, Voulgari PV, Epagelis EK, Tsifetaki N, Drosos AA. Does cigarette smoking influence disease expression, activity and severity in early rheumatoid arthritis patients? Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2005;23(6):861–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Papagoras C, Drosos AA. Abatacept: a biologic immune modulator for rheumatoid arthritis. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2011;11(8):1113–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Smolen JS, Landewe R, Bijlsma J, Burmester G, Chatzidionysiou K, Dougados M, et al. 2016 Update of RULAR recommendations for the management of rheumatoid arthritis with synthetic and biological disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017;76:960–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Voulgari PV, Kolios G, Papadopoulos GK, Katsaraki A, Seferiadis K, Drosos AA. Role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of anemia of chronic disease in rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Immunol. 1999;92(2):153–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Voulgari PV, Alamanos Y, Nikas SN, Bougias DV, Temekonidis TI, Drosos AA. Infliximab therapy in established rheumatoid arthritis: an observational study. Am J Med. 2005;118(5):515–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleftherios Pelechas
    • 1
  • Evripidis Kaltsonoudis
    • 1
  • Paraskevi V. Voulgari
    • 1
  • Alexandros A. Drosos
    • 1
  1. 1.Rheumatology Clinic - Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

Personalised recommendations