rheumatoid arthritismedical dictionary

<rheumatology> Chronic inflammatory disease in which there is destruction of joints. Considered by some to be an autoimmune disorder in which immune complexes are formed in joints and excite an inflammatory response (complex mediated hypersensitivity).

Cell-mediated (type IV) hypersensitivity also occurs and macrophages accumulate. This in turn leads to the destruction of the synovial lining (see pannus).

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)