Alterations in Renal and Musculoskeletal System (Pathophysiology)

A 30 year old woman recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), complains of general fatigue and weight loss along with symmetric joint welling, stiffness, and pain.  The stiffness is more prominent in the morning and subsides during the day.  Laboratory measures reveal an Rheumatoid Factor (RF) of 120 IU/ml

Range for RF (nonreactive, 0 to 39 IU/mL; weakly reactive, 40 to 79 IU/ml; reactive, > 80 IU/ml).

Q1. Describe the immunopathogenesis of the joint changes that occur in RA.

Q2.  What is the significance of her RF test results?

Q3. How do her complaints of general fatigue and weight loss related to the RA disease process?

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