Necrotizing glomerulonephritis associated with rheumatoid arthritis typically occurs in the setting of frankly apparent systemic vasculitic signs and symptoms. We report two recent cases that differed from this paradigm. Both patients had rheumatoid arthritis and deteriorating renal function due to P-ANCA positive pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis, but minimal systemic symptoms. Delay in diagnosis and institution of appropriate therapy may have contributed to the dialysis dependence of one of these patients. We suggest that heightened suspicion of an aggressive necrotizing glomerulonephritis should be maintained in all patients with rheumatoid arthritis who present with acute renal insufficiency even in the absence of frank vasculitis.