Airways disease in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Academic Article


  • Airflow limitation is a frequent finding in patients with rheumatic diseases. We have previously suggested that it is associated with autoimmune exocrinopathy in Sjögren's syndrome. To compare clinical features of patients with and without airways dysfunction and to further test the hypothesis of a link between airways disease and exocrinopathy, we prospectively studied 2 groups of 15 lifetime nonsmoker female patients with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The 2 groups were similar in their clinical and immunologic features, but differed in terms of airways function. Salivary, lacrimal, and sweat gland dysfunction were significantly more prevalent or severe in the group with airways disease. Antinuclear antibodies were also more prominent in the patients with airways disease, but antibodies against RNP, SS‐A, SS‐B, and double‐stranded DNA were not present in these patients. HLA‐DR4 was found in 80% of the RA patients with airways disease and in 57% of those without airways disease. HLA–B8 and DR3 were equivalently distributed in both groups. This prospective study further documents the existence of small airways disease in RA and supports the view that autoimmune exocrinopathy predisposes to its expression. Copyright © 1987 American College of Rheumatology
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Radoux V; Méanard HA; Béagin R; Déacary F; Koopman WJ
  • Start Page

  • 249
  • End Page

  • 256
  • Volume

  • 30
  • Issue

  • 3