A GP general practitioner, primary care physician will carry out a physical examination. The doctor will carefully check the joints to see if there is any swelling e. The patient will be asked about symptoms. To help the doctor make a correct diagnosis, the National Health Service NHSUK, urges patients to tell the doctor about all their symptoms, and not just the ones they consider to be important.
Several X-rays can help track the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in the joints over time. MRI magnetic resonance imaging scans - can help the doctor determine more specifically what damage has been done to a joint. An MRI machine uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. Inthe American College of Rheumatology defined the following criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis:.
For a classification of rheumatoid arthritis at least four of the above criteria need to be met. These criteria were primarily intended to categorize crp and rheumatoid arthritis, rather than for the diagnosis of routine clinical care.
There may sometimes be a worse outcome if the doctor waits until all of the American College of Rheumatology criteria are met. Most health care professionals as well as their patients prefer to have the condition treated as early as possible to prevent bone erosion - even if the American College of Rheumatology criteria are not yet met.
The American College of Rheumatology criteria are useful for categorizing established rheumatoid arthritis, especially when studying the causes, distribution, and control of the disease in populations epidemiology. At the time of diagnosis rheumatoid arthritis needs to be distinguished from other possible conditions which may have similar crp and rheumatoid arthritis and symptoms.
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