Systemic rheumatoid vasculitis in the era of modern immunosuppressive therapy

Eleana Ntatsaki, Janice Mooney, David G I Scott, Richard A Watts

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. Systemic rheumatoid vasculitis (SRV) is a rare but potentially serious systemic disease manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) characterized by the development of necrotizing vasculitis. The incidence of SRV appears to be decreasing possibly reflecting progress in RA treatment. The aims of this study were to review the clinical manifestations of SRV in a stable well-defined population during 2001-10 and to compare with our previous cohort (1988-2000) and also a cohort from 1975 to 1981.Methods. Using Norfolk Vasculitis Register, a prospective register of patients with systemic vasculitis since 1988, all patients with a diagnosis of SRV from 1 January 2001 until 31 December 2010 were identified. SRV was defined according to the Scott and Bacon criteria (1984). Clinical features were obtained by retrospective case note review.Results. Eighteen patients with SRV were identified (10 male), median age at diagnosis was 72 years and average disease duration 15.6 years. The average annual incidence for 2001-10 was 3.9 per million. One-year mortality was 12% and 5-year mortality 60%. The clinical manifestations were similar apart from systemic and cutaneous features which were more common in the earlier cohorts.Conclusion. The incidence of SRV has declined significantly in the last 40 years; but the clinical manifestations remain similar. Systemic symptoms, and cutaneous manifestations such as infarcts and nodules, are slightly less common in the recent cohort. Despite modern immunosuppressive therapy the prognosis remains poor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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