Photoacoustic (PA) or optoacoustic (OA) imaging combines the high (blood) contrast to light with the high-resolution of ultrasound. The method can visualize vascularization deep inside tissue. Of late there is interest in PA imaging of synovial joints which are expected to be associated with increased vascularization in the event of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We here describe our approach in investigating the application of the PA technique in arthritis. We are developing a CT-geometry version PA finger imager, intended for early clinical assessment of the method. The imager uses two curved array ultrasound detectors each with 64 elements with central frequencies 1.5 and 7.5 MHz respectively, stacked above each other. Both cover approximately 180 degrees of the circle. Illumination is provided with a multiple of optical fiber bundles coupled to a laser-OPO system. Ultrasound imaging is also possible with the system, since the curved arrays are each provided with 12 or 8 ultrasound pulsers. We have investigated systematically imaging of finger vasculature in healthy volunteers using an earlier laboratory prototype. In this paper we present finger imaging results of a patient diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.