Rheumatoid arthritis is a generalized disease which, in addition to joint involvement, is accompanied by changes in many organs and tissues. The occurrence of cardiac lesions in rheumatoid arthritis is well known. Still,1 in 1897, studying chronic joint disease in children, which was apparently a juvenile type of rheumatoid arthritis, noted an adherent pericardium during post-mortem examination in 3 of 12 cases. There are references2,3 in the early medical literature to chest complications found in chronic rheumatism. Baggenstoss and Rosenberg4 found that 16 of 30 patients with rheumatoid arthritis examined at autopsy had rheumatic changes in their hearts. In 6 patients nonrheumatic lesions of minor severity were noted. These included nonspecific pericarditis and chronic obliterative pericardial adhesions. Sokoloff et al.5 noted fibrous pericardial obliteration to be present in 25% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were examined post mortem. The occurrence of pleural effusion and pericarditis
GROSSMAN LA, KAPLAN HJ, OWNBY FD, GROSSMAN M. Acute Pericarditis: With Subsequent Clinical Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(6):665–672. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620180027004
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