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May 1978

Roentgenologic, Immunologic, and Therapeutic Study of Erosive (Inflammatory) Osteoarthritis

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Rheumatology (Dr Utsinger), Germantown Hospital and the Department of Medicine (Dr Utsinger), Temple University, Philadelphia; the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology (Dr Utsinger), Department of Medicine, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill; the Department of Radiology (Dr Resnick), Veterans Administration Hospital, La Jolla, Calif; and the Sacramento Rheumatology Consult Group (Drs Shapiro and Wiesner), Calif.

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(5):693-697. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630290013009

The terms erosive or inflammatory osteoarthritis refer to an inflammatory condition of the interphalangeal joints of the hand. In this report, observations of 15 patients with erosive osteoarthritis are described. The principal clinical features are symmetrical synovitis of the interphalangeal joints of the hand, the knees, and the first carpometacarpal, interphalangeal, and metacarpophalangeal joints. The principal roentgenographic features are productive and destructive osseous changes. These changes, found particularly at the interphalangeal joints of the hand, consist of both central and peripheral articular erosions and cysts associated with adjacent osteophyte formation. Serologic abnormalities commonly found in rheumatoid arthritis are rarely encountered. In two thirds of the patients, the synovial fluid is noninflammatory; in the remainder, it is mildly to severely inflammatory. The injection of intra-articular corticosteroids predictably results in decreased synovitis but does not seem to affect the subsequent development of erosions.

(Arch Intern Med 138:693-697, 1978)