IMPACT OF INFLAMMATION ON INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE IN PATIENTS WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS – AN ANALYSIS OF THE GERMAN BIOLOGICS REGISTER RABBIT
Authors: R. Ramien, et al.
Rheumatoid arthritis associated interstitial Lung Disease (RA-ILD) is one of the more severe complications of RA. Interestingly, RA-ILD can be detected in 40–60% of RA patients when searched for systematically using high resolution CT and in ~20% RA-ILD precedes the development of RA. This study from the German RA cohort Rabbit explores the question what factors may help predict clinically relevant RA-ILD.
Like other cohorts, they observed that tobacco smoking, RF positivity, and the number of comorbidities were associated with the development of RA-ILD. Furthermore, both CRP and ESR levels were significantly associated with subsequent ILD.
Systemic inflammation is associated with the occurrence of RA-ILD in patients with RA. Patients with persistent inflammation despite antirheumatic therapy, and in particular for male RA patients, smokers and auto-antibody positive patients, functional lung tests should be performed from time to time. When the suspicion is strong or the patient develops dyspnea, rheumatologists should seek specialized pneumologists’ opinion and/or a lung CT.