Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013 , Vol 59 , Num 3

Arthritis at Advanced Age: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Differential Diagnosis

Emine Süreyya Ergin 1 ,Sibel Kibar 2
1 Ufuk Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Ankara, Türkiye
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.09475

In recent decades, the prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has gradually decreased, but the age at onset has increased. Currently, it is thought that RA has become a disease of the elderly, and has taken its important place in the category of inflammatory arthritis at advanced ages. Determining an accurate diagnose of elderly-onset RA (EORA) is not as easy as diagnosing young-onset RA due to insufficient laboratory findings and the presence of distinct clinical features. Furthermore, the incidence of malignant diseases leading to paraneoplastic arthritis also increases with advanced age. Moreover, the lack of a widely accepted algorithm to diagnose paraneoplastic arthritis, which usually appears as elderly-onset arthritis, is an ongoing problem. In this review, the epidemiological and clinical features, laboratory findings, radiological characteristics, and differential diagnosis of EORA are discussed along with the associated treatment difficulties and recently reported alternative therapy options. 

Keywords : Rheumatoid arthritis, elderly-onset, young-onset, differential diagnosis