DAVID MARKS, MD: Are there any specific symptoms that would make your more concerned for a patient?
ALLAN GIBOFSKY, MD: Absolutely. The more acute and dramatic the presentation of the joint inflammation, the more concerned I am. So were you to call me and say that your elbow aches, I would be concerned. Were you to call me and say that your elbow has blown up like a balloon. It's hot and tender, and you're running a fever of 105, I would be even more concerned because that would suggest to me an acute infection, rather than a chronic process of the joint.
STEPHEN SMILES, MD: And along with that, if you then presented with more than one joint.
DAVID MARKS, MD: At the same time?
STEPHEN SMILES, MD: At the same time. Joints of the upper and lower extremity at the same time. One would believe that we were dealing with something other than just a traumatic type of process. That should make someone concerned and bring them to their physician.
DAVID MARKS, MD: Is there a genetic component to arthritis?
ALLAN GIBOFSKY, MD: Yes there is. There is excellent data to suggest that certain forms of arthritis run in the family and can be determined from certain kinds of blood tests on blood groups.
Rheumatic fever has a strong genetic predisposition. Lyme disease may have a genetic predisposition. The challenge though is that all of these genetic predispositions require an environmental trigger. We don't know what these triggers are yet, even though we're learning more and more about what kinds of things can interact in the genetically predisposed individual.
DAVID MARKS, MD: What are the three most common symptoms that a person should look for in arthritis?
STEPHEN SMILES, MD: The three most common symptoms would be pain in or around a joint, swelling in or around a joint, heat and redness in or around a joint.
DAVID MARKS, MD: Good. Well thank you very much, and thank you for joining our webcast. I'm Dr. David Marks. Goodbye.