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June 19, 1967

The Colchicine Therapeutic Trial

JAMA. 1967;200(12):1134. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120250168033

To the Editor:—  Wallace et al (199: 525, 1967), in "Diagnostic Value of the Colchicine Therapeutic Trial," reported that two patients with miscellaneous undiagnosed arthritis and one patient with erythema nodosum and associated arthritis responded to colchicine. Two of these were normouricemic young women with arthritis of the knee and are probably the same patients described previously1 as having acute arthritis of the knees. Most rheumatologists would accept these patients as having rheumatoid arthritis since infection and rheumatic fever were probably ruled out, and gout would be most unlikely. Consequently, the authors have two out of 30 patients with probable rheumatoid arthritis, possibly three, responding to colchicine according to their objective criteria (which are not clearly defined). This corroborates the previous impression2 that a small percentage of patients with rheumatoid arthritis may respond to colchicine, thus making the colchicine trial difficult to evaluate.It is also interesting that