Rheumatoid and Degenerative Arthritis-Associated Inflammation
Pp. 220-253 (34)
Matthias Geyer, Steffen Gay and Ulf Müller-Ladner
Among a diversity of localizations throughout the human organism,
inflammation may also manifest within joints. It is an important feature of rheumatoid
and degenerative arthritis, two major rheumatic joint disorders with high individual
disease burden and tremendous socio-economic costs. Their etiologies and pathogenic
mechanisms are quite diverse. Many aspects are still not fully understood today, and
this often compromises instant and adequate individual therapy. However, continuing
research efforts seem to succeed in gathering novel insights that also pertain to the
inflammatory aspect, which represents a major player in painful and rather disabling
joint destruction. However, it turns out to constitute the common final path within a
complexity of initiating and perpetuating processes. Even though lacking total
completeness, the different contributions of genetics, the immune system and
environmental factors are well investigated to a far extent in rheumatoid arthritis, while
in degenerative arthritis correlating elucidations lag behind these achievements, which
might be due to a minor immunological but the more enigmatic pathology.
Nevertheless, growing investigative efforts to similarly distil key mechanisms of
disease are also quite well under way in osteoarthritis. The present review aims to give
a selected overview over the current knowledge about rheumatoid and degenerative
arthritis. Although this includes aspects on disease management in the clinical routine,
the main focus is given by shedding light on the etiopathogenic context including
establishment of inflammation in both entities.
Degenerative arthritis, Disease management, Etiopathogenesis,
Immunology, Inflammation, Joint destruction, Osteoarthritis, Pathogenic
mechanisms, Pathology, Rheumatic joint disorder, Rheumatoid arthritis.
Kerckhoff-Klinik, Abteilung für Rheumatologie und klinische Immunologie, Benekestr. 2-8, D-61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany.