Extra-articular features in early rheumatoid disease.Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.1.6020.1241 (Published 22 May 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:1241
- A Fleming,
- S Dodman,
- J M Crown,
- M Corbett
One hundred and two patients who presented with rheumatoid disease within the first year of onset were studied prospectively every four months for a mean 4.5 years to assess the incidence of extra-articular features. The features that seemed to be common in the early stages included hand-muscle wasting, carpal tunnel syndrome, lymphadenopathy, non-specific ankle swelling, and rheumatoid nodules, and to a lesser extent hepatomegaly, being underweight, conjunctivitis, skin transparency, and a palpable thyroid gland. Those features which seldom occurred early included scleromalacia, temporal artery inolvement, salivary gland enlargement, distal-motor neuropathy, splenomegaly, digital vasculitis, and pulmonary and cardiac complications. Being underweight indicated a significantly more severe outcome.