Tissues containing tetracycline fluoresce bright yellow under a Woods lamp (3,600 Angstrom ultraviolet light). Within 24 hours of the end of administration of this drug, it is no longer visible except in bone and malignant tumors. The details of its use for the detection of carcinoma of the stomach have been amply set down in many recent papers.1-3
Rheumatoid synovium shares with malignant tumors the characteristic of rapidly proliferating cells. In addition, recent studies have again demonstrated delayed absorption of materials from joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.4 For these reasons, it was predicted that tetracycline would remain in rheumatoid synovial fluid for longer periods of time than in the synovial fluid from joints of patients with any other type of arthritis. This paper reports the preliminary results obtained in testing this hypothesis.
Materials and Methods
Thirteen patients with rheumatoid arthritis, four with osteoarthritis, one with systemic sclerosis,
Ehrlich GE, Cohen S, Tiger M. Tetracycline Fluorescence of Joint Fluid. JAMA. 1965;193(7):581–582. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090070031008