Article Text

Rheumatoid arthritis treatment: the earlier the better to prevent joint damage


The management of rheumatoid arthritis has undergone major advances in recent years, both in terms of the drugs armamentarium and therapeutic strategy. Treating disease to target, aiming at remission, through a tight control protocol is regarded as the standard of care. Reaching clinical and radiographic disease remission has therefore become an achievable goal. Increasing evidence has demonstrated that early diagnosis, prompt treatment initiation and early achievement of remission are the major predictors of long-term clinical, functional and radiographic outcomes. Concentrating efforts in controlling disease activity in a very early window of opportunity offers unique sustained benefits. In this short review, we analysed the available evidence supporting the value of treating rheumatoid arthritis early and the impact on disease outcomes, with particular focus on radiographic progression.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Early Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Treatment

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.