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The onset of rheumatoid arthritis following trauma

Authors Brawer A, Goel N

Received 14 April 2016

Accepted for publication 13 July 2016

Published 17 August 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 77—80


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Chuan-Ju Liu

Arthur E Brawer, Noopur Goel

Department of Medicine, Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ, USA

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is known to have many predisposing factors.
Objective: We studied individuals whose RA was initiated by physical injuries.
Patients and methods: Sixty patients (43 females), previously well, developed RA following trauma. No other known environmental or familial influences were present. Fourteen sustained a fracture; of the 46 who did not, 36 sustained multiple injuries that in part involved the axial skeleton. Subsequent unremitting daily pain, stiffness, limited motion, pain on motion, and/or swelling in the injured areas were mandatory for inclusion.
Results: Nine months after injuries (span: 2 weeks–36 months), more obvious signs of inflammation (IM) appeared in multiple other joints that were previously not affected by the original trauma. In those with laboratory tests done prior to the spread of IM (30/60), 22 (73%) were normal until an average 8 months after the spread of IM. Of the entire cohort of 60, only 23% had a positive rheumatoid factor, but 43% had a positive antinuclear antibody.
Conclusion: It seems apparent that any severe trauma to a joint may precipitate an ongoing localized chronic inflammatory disorder for an indefinite period of time, which may then lead to the spread of IM to multiple other joints. The initiation of RA following trauma warrants consideration as a legitimate entity.

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, injuries, inflammation, antinuclear antibody, rheumatoid factor

A Letter to the Editor has been received and published for this article.

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