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January 13, 1962

Bronchogenic Carcinoma Simulating; Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: Metastases To The Finger

Author Affiliations

New York City

JAMA. 1962;179(2):162-164. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050020000013

A PATIENT with carcinoma of the lung who develops symmetrical swollen joints is usually suspected of having hypertrophie osteoarthropathy. The swollen joints can precede lung symptoms by many months and may be early signs of the presence of lung cancer. However, arthralgias which may also be present due to skeletal metastases do not usually produce the polyarticular rheumatoid symptoms typical of hypertrophie osteoartliropathy. This report presents a case of bronchogenic carcinoma in which the unusual occurrence of metastatic deposits in the fingers and knee was associated with a clinical picture resembling rheumatoid arthritis.

Report of a Case

A 59-year-old former longshoreman was admitted to the emergency ward of Bellcvue Hospital because of severe dyspnea of 5 hours' duration. He had had hypertension for 20 years and dyspnea on exertion for 6 years. For 6 weeks prior to admission he had orthopnea and a cough productive of bloody sputum.

Physical examination