1. Vizcarra, Cora RN, BSN, CRNI, MBA


Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn's disease, affect a large segment of the population in the United States. Recent research suggests that, in many inflammatory conditions, an inflammatory protein or cytokine, specifically tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-[alpha]), appears to play an important role. Medications designed to treat these chronic inflammatory diseases, in addition to alleviating its symptoms, have become important therapeutic alternatives. This article will discuss specific Immune Mediated Inflammatory Disorders (I.M.I.D.), their treatment and management, as well as the current clinical application and potential future role of TNF-[alpha] antagonists as a common therapeutic modality.


Chronic inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis, diabetes, and psoriasis, affect the health and quality of life of millions of Americans. Traditionally, nurses and other medical professionals have viewed and treated these widespread, debilitating disorders as distinct entities, with more differences than similarities. However, recent scientific advances have shown that inflammatory proteins called cytokines, especially tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-[alpha]), are involved in a range of immune-mediated inflammatory disorders (I.M.I.D.) that cross traditional boundaries of clinical practice. Our understanding of how TNF-[alpha] is involved in the pathophysiology of I.M.I.D. has led to the development and approval of new therapies for RA, CD, and more recently, psoriatic arthritis. As the clinical use of these new therapies in other I.M.I.D. becomes more widely understood, potential applications in other fields, such as dermatology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, neurology, pulmonology, and rheumatology, may be promising.