Is Inflammatory Arthritis the Same as Rheumatoid Arthritis?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

What is inflammatory arthritis?  I have just started on Plaquenil.  Is this a term used interchangeably with Rheumatoid?

Doctor's response

Arthritis can be classified as either inflammatory or non-inflammatory.  Inflammatory arthritis features inflammatory white blood cells in the joint fluid.  Forms of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis, gout, and many others.  Forms of non-inflammatory arthritis include osteoarthritis, arthritis of thyroid disease, arthritis after injury and many others.

In conclusion, rheumatoid arthritis  is one of many forms of inflammatory arthritis.

Thank you for your question.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018