Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disease which initially attacks the synovium, a connective tissue membrane that lines the cavity between joints and secretes a lubricating fluid.
Review Date: 3/22/2013 Reviewed By: Ariel D. Teitel, MD, MBA, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.