The current practice of rheumatology is a fascinating mix of slowly evolving changes in diagnoses and rapidly changing treatment protocols. Since the approval of the first biological therapy in 1998, these drugs have led to a revolution in the treatment of several rheumatologic diseases. Prior to the introduction of the biologics, methotrexate therapy, the gold-standard treatment, could induce remissions in perhaps 10% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The entire severity curve has now shifted toward less severe disease, and combination treatment with a biologic along with methotrexate can induce remissions in as many as 30% of patients. Biologics were recently approved for ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Biologics are currently being used for lupus and other rheumatologic diseases. With any new therapies come new adverse effects. Therefore, a textbook must be up to date with the latest treatments and their adverse effects, as well as detailed enough to cover the numerous diagnoses within this subspecialty.
Muller D. Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Rheumatology. JAMA. 2007;298(4):462-466. doi:10.1001/jama.298.4.463-b