Rheumatoid arthritis (pulmonary manifestations)

Pulmonary manifestations are relatively common in rheumatoid arthritis, and like many of its non-articular manifestations, tend to develop later in the disease.

Please refer to the related articles for a general discussion of rheumatoid arthritis, and for the specific discussion of its musculoskeletal manifestations.

Epidemiology

Although RA is more common in women, respiratory disease more commonly develops in men .

Clinical presentation

Respiratory symptoms are often absent, or nonspecific such as dyspnea and chronic cough.

Pathology

Associations

Radiographic features

Patterns of lung involvement include interstitial, airway and pleural disease.

Pleural involvement is a common manifestation of RA, although usually asymptomatic.

  • pleural thickening: is seen more commonly than pleural effusions
  • pleural effusions: occur late in the disease, are often unilateral and associated with pericarditis and subcutaneous nodules

Other manifestations include:

Plain radiograph

Chest radiograph may show:

CT

Chest CT or HRCT features include:

 See also