The advance of radiological destruction in 57 patients with definite rheumatoid arthritis was observed for 5-6 years. In all patients gold treatment was started 2-36 months after the onset of the disease. In 18 patients gold was discontinued because of side-effects of other reasons before reaching the total dosage of 500 mg, while the remaining 39 patients received a mean dose of 2030 mg of natriumaurothiomalate. The advance of the radiological destruction was statistically significantly less marked in patients treated with the full gold therapy. The earlier the treatment was initiated, the better was the result.