American Journal of Medical Case Reports
ISSN (Print): 2374-2151 ISSN (Online): 2374-216X Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/ajmcr Editor-in-chief: Samy, I. McFarlane
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American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2019, 7(12), 342-347
DOI: 10.12691/ajmcr-7-12-10
Open AccessCase Report

Interstitial Lung Disease as the Initial Manifestation of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Kurnvir Singh1, Mohammed Al-Sadawi1, Romy Rodriguez Ortega1, Khaleda Akter1, Tomasz Zrodlowski1, Claudia Zmijewski1 and Isabel M. McFarlane1,

1Department of Internal Medicine, Downstate Medical Center, State University of New York, Brooklyn, New York, United States 11203

Pub. Date: October 28, 2019

Cite this paper:
Kurnvir Singh, Mohammed Al-Sadawi, Romy Rodriguez Ortega, Khaleda Akter, Tomasz Zrodlowski, Claudia Zmijewski and Isabel M. McFarlane. Interstitial Lung Disease as the Initial Manifestation of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. American Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2019; 7(12):342-347. doi: 10.12691/ajmcr-7-12-10

Abstract

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic, inflammatory disorder that primarily affects synovial joints. Approximately 18-41% of patients with RA develop extra-articular manifestations [1]. However, extra-articular manifestations preceding or occurring without articular symptoms in RA have rarely been reported. Such atypical presentations of RA pose a diagnostic challenge to the clinician and may delay treatment. Case presentation: A 57-year-old female with long standing diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and Raynaud’s phenomenon presented shortness of breath, cough and new subcutaneous nodules. Four years before, she had been diagnosed with non specific interstitial pneumonia but had declined treatment. The physical exam did not reveal any signs suggestive of RA however, she was seropositive for rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA). Treatment for RA-associated interstitial lung disease was discussed. Conclusion: Extra-articular involvement of RA can be observed as initial presentation of the disease in a handful of cases. However, RA diagnosis must be achieved to correctly manage these patients which can at that time receive targeted therapeutic interventions. From our literature review, pulmonary involvement was seen in over half of the cases in seropositive RA patients who lacked articular involvement at initial presentation.

Keywords:
Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid nodules interstitial lung disease extra-articular manifestations seropositive rheumatoid arthritis non-specific interstitial pneumonia

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