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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 47-50

Prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in patients with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis

1 Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
R Aneja
Department of Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Objective: To look for the frequency and pattern of neuropathy in Indian patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patients and Methods: One hundred newly diagnosed patients with RA (ACR 1987 revised criteria) visiting our hospital, over a period of 3 years were screened. Diabetics, outstation patients, chronic alcoholics, those with any known cause for peripheral neuropathy and patients having an overlap with the other rheumatological illness were excluded. Clinical assessment included detailed history and examination with special reference to extra-articular features and neuropathy with relevant clinical parameters like tender joint count, swollen joint count, etc. Routine laboratory investigations and autoantibodies (RF, ANA, anti-CCP) were obtained on all patients. All the patients with or without clinical manifestations of neuropathy underwent nerve conduction studies. Autonomic function studies were performed in selected patients. Results: Subjects included 66 patients (M 13 : F 53) with mean age of 42 (±13.42) years and median disease dura- tion of 36 months (IQR-13.5, 60). Sensory symptoms were present in 9 patients (13.6%). None had motor symp- toms. On neurological examination, 16 patients had sensory (24.2%) and 6 (9.09%) had motor abnormalities. Nerve conduction studies showed abnormality in 25 patients (37.87%). Evidence of entrapment neuropathy was found in 6 patients (9.09%; 5 patients with median nerve involvement [unilateral, 3 and bilateral, 2] and 1 patient with unilateral ulnar nerve involvement), 3 patients had only sensory neuropathy, 5 had mixed sensory motor and 3 had only motor neuropathy. Eight patients (12.12%) had only small fibre neuropathy as detected by sympathetic skin response and quantitative sensory testing. Conclusion: This study shows high prevalence of subclinical neuropathy in Indian patients with RA. This may be an important contributor to disability.

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