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Research Article

Extra-articular features in early rheumatoid disease.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 22 May 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:1241
  1. A Fleming,
  2. S Dodman,
  3. J M Crown,
  4. 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.