Predictors of extra-articular manifestations in rheumatoid arthritis

Scand J Rheumatol. 2000;29(6):358-64. doi: 10.1080/030097400447552.


Objective: To identify clinical and genetic risk factors for extra-articular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis (ExRA).

Methods: ExRA patients were identified retrospectively using predefined criteria in two hospital-based cohorts of RA patients, and compared to non-extraarticular RA controls from one of the cohorts, matched for disease duration.

Results: Forty-nine living and thirteen deceased cases of ExRA were identified. Extra-articular disease was predicted by the demonstration of antinuclear antibodies (Odds ratio (OR) 3.6; 95% CI: 1.4-9.1) and the presence of rheumatoid nodules within two years from RA diagnosis (OR 3.4; 95%, CI: 1.1-10.9) or at any time before ExRA onset (OR 2.8; 95% CI: 1.1-7.2). Male sex and rheumatoid factor did not affect the risk of ExRA. Although present in the majority of cases as well as controls, the disease associated HLA-DRB1 subtypes were not significant predictors of ExRA.

Conclusion: Extra-articular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis in a hospital based population were predicted by antinuclear antibodies and rheumatoid nodules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rheumatoid Nodule / etiology*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains