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Important strides have been made in understanding the pathophysiologic basis of many inflammatory conditions in recent years, but rheumatology remains a discipline in which diagnosis is rooted in the medical history skillfully extracted from the patient, the careful physical examination, and the discriminating use of laboratory tests and imaging. Moreover, selection of the most appropriate therapy for patients with rheumatic diseases also remains heavily reliant upon clinical experience. Medical disciplines such as rheumatology that depend significantly upon clinical wisdom are prone to the development of systems of 'Pearls' and 'Myths,' related to the diseases they call their own, a 'Pearl' being a nugget of truth about the diagnosis or treatment of a particular disease that has been gained by dint of clinical experience and a 'Myth' being a commonly held belief that influences the practice of many clinicians - but is false. This book will pool together the clinical wisdom of seasoned, expert rheumatologists who participate in the care of patients with autoimmune diseases, systemic inflammatory disorders, and all other rheumatic conditions.
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