Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory progressive disease which in the absence of appropriate treatment can lead to joint destruction and disability. Prognosis of RA may be predicted based on the presence of some clinical and laboratory evidences. New criteria for classification of RA provide opportunity for earlier treatment. Initiation of treatment particularly by combination of DMARDs concurrent with short duration of corticosteroid is expected to prevent progressive course and even change the natural course of RA. At present any patients with clinical synovitis in at least one joint may have definite RA, requiring agressive treatment.
Keywords: Rheumatod arthritis; new criteria; early treatment; outcome.