Background and Objective: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a predominant inflammatory autoimmune
disorder. The incidence and prevalence of RA is increasing with considerable morbidity and
mortality worldwide. The pathophysiology of RA has become clearer due to many significant research
outputs during the last two decades. Many inflammatory cytokines involved in RA pathophysiology
and the presence of autoantibodies are being used as potential biomarkers via the use of effective diagnostic
techniques for the early diagnosis of RA. Currently, several disease-modifying anti-rheumatic
drugs are being prescribed targeting RA pathophysiology, which have shown significant contributions
in improving the disease outcomes.
Discussion: Even though innovations in treatment strategies and monitoring are helping the patients to
achieve early and sustained clinical and radiographic remission, the high cost of drugs and limited
health care budgets are restricting the easy access of RA treatment. Both direct and indirect high cost
of treatment are creating economic burden for the patients and affecting their quality of life.
Conclusion: The aim of this review is to describe the updated concept of RA pathophysiology and
highlight current diagnostic tools used for the early detection as well as prognosis - targeting several
biomarkers of RA. Additionally, we explored the updated treatment options with side effects besides
discussing the global economic burden.