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Radiologic findings of the lumbar spine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and a review of pathologic mechanisms.

Authors
  • Kawaguchi, Yoshiharu
  • Matsuno, Hiroaki
  • Kanamori, Masahiko
  • Ishihara, Hirokazu
  • Ohmori, Kazuo
  • Kimura, Tomoatsu
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of spinal disorders & techniques
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2003
Volume
16
Issue
1
Pages
38–43
Identifiers
PMID: 12571483
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We have analyzed the radiologic findings on the lumbar spine and the clinical symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A total of 106 patients who fulfilled the revised criteria of the American Rheumatism Association were subjected. All of the patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire about the existence of low back pain, leg pain, and leg numbness. Radiologic features of the lumbar spine, including scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, disc space narrowing, endplate erosion, osteophyte, and osteoporosis, were checked. Radiographs of the cervical spine were also taken. The clinical background of RA, such as mutilating disease or not, was assessed. Forty-two patients (40%) had the symptoms of low back pain. Abnormal radiologic findings in lumbar spine were detected in 57%. The prevalence of clinical symptoms tended to be higher in the patients with endplate erosion. Forty-two percent of the patients had both lumbar and cervical lesions. The prevalence of lumbar lesion was not high in the mutilating type of RA, except for facet erosion and severe osteoporosis. The patients with pulse steroid therapy revealed a higher prevalence of vertebral fracture. From these results, we concluded that lumbar lesions were frequently observed in patients with RA. The possibility of lumbar lesions as well as the lesions in the cervical spine and peripheral joints should be examined in patients with RA.

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