Pulmonary Manifestations of Rheumatoid Arthritis


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Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic disease, characterized by symmetric joint involvement, but it can also affect other organ systems, including the lungs. The better-known pulmonary manifestations of RA are interstitial lung disease, rheumatoid nodules, and pleural effusions. Less common manifestations include bronchiolitis obliterans and crycoarytenoid arthritis. Management of these conditions involves, by and large, supportive pulmonary care and control of the underlying articular process. Other pulmonary manifestations in RA patients can ensue as a result of the treatments used for it, mainly methotrexate. This article discusses the most common pulmonary manifestations of RA and their treatment. A discussion about the increasing impact that cigarette smoking is having on RA is also provided.

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