11 Diseases That Mimic Rheumatoid Arthritis
Many patients have normal inflammatory markers when they first consult a doctor about their initial symptoms. Many have normal x-rays. What can be even more confusing to the diagnostician, and therefore to the patient, is that there are several other conditions characterized by polyarthritis which has characteristics typically associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Because those conditions mimic rheumatoid arthritis, they must be considered, then excluded, before the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis can be confidently established. Here are some of the conditions that mimic rheumatoid arthritis:
Post-viral arthritis – Acute and chronic viral infections can result in a polyarthritis that looks just like rheumatoid arthritis clinically. Acute viral infections, such as parvovirus B19, usually can be distinguished by exposure history, rash, and the fact that symptoms last a specific duration of time. It is important for the diagnostician to exclude chronic hepatitis infection or human immunodeficiency virus, especially if treatment with immunosuppressants is being considered.