Researchers who analyzed gene expression in synovial tissue samples from rheumatoid arthritis patients' joints identified different patterns that may be clinically meaningful. The findings, which are published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, indicate that the mechanisms of pain differ in patients with different synovial subtypes of rheumatoid arthritis, and they may help guide clinicians as they develop optimal treatment strategies for patients.
"We were surprised to find that some patients had high pain, tenderness, and even swollen joint counts while exhibiting minimal inflammation in their tissue or blood. This suggests that some patients can have high disease activity scores with little inflammation," said lead author Dr. Dana Orange, of The Rockefeller University. "It stands to reason that patients with minimal tissue inflammation may not respond to our usual immune-targeting drugs."