Classification and diagnosis of immune-mediated rheumatic diseases

Christian Dejaco

Dr Christian Dejaco is an associate professor in the Department of Rheumatology at the Medical University of Graz (Austria) and author of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the management of polymyalgia rheumatica and large vessel vasculitis.

How can we classify immune-mediated rheumatic diseases? Why is it particularly important to diagnose and treat them early?

Christian Dejaco, MD, PhD: Regarding our first question, how we can classify immune-mediated rheumatic diseases, in principle we have 4 big groups of inflammatory rheumatic diseases: arthritis, inflammatory diseases of the spine, connective tissue diseases, and vasculitis. Of course, within these big 4 groups we have several subclassifications and several different diseases.

The importance of diagnosing rheumatic diseases early is because we can prevent damage and the whole course of the disease by early diagnosis and treatment of immune-mediated rheumatic diseases.

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