Rheumatic inflammatory diseases represent a steadily increasing group of disorders that have considerable social impact through affected patients' worsening quality of life and require engagement in the health field. Among these, rheumatoid arthritis stands as the most frequent pathology, and the hand is the most typical affected area. The incidence of rheumatic arthritis, as indicated by recent epidemiological studies, is bound to undergo a further significant increase in the future. There is, therefore, a need for careful diagnosis of the disease, based on clinical criteria designed by the American College of Rheumatology and Diagnostic Imaging. The latter provides an objective assessment of the extent and severity of joint involvement.
Rheumatoid Hand includes 25 tables of clinical and radiological cases. The text analyses the capability of diagnostic imaging (conventional radiology, ultrasonography and magnetic resonance) to identify the early stages and the activity of disease, allowing the rheumatologist to decide on an effective therapeutic plan.