JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rheumatoid arthritis. Illustration showing the mechanism of rheumatoid arthritis, with bones of the hand in the background. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system attacks joint tissue. Affected joints become painful and inflamed, limiting movement. The inflamed synovium (joint capsule lining) produces fibrous, vascular tissue called pannus (purple) that grows to cover the articular cartilage. The synovial fluid (white) fills with white blood cells which stimulate the release of enzymes which destroy bone (brown) & cartilage (blue). There is no cure, although drugs may relieve symptoms or check the progress of the disease.
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