Infections in the immunocompromised rheumatologic patient

Crit Care Clin. 2002 Oct;18(4):931-56. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0704(02)00022-2.


Immunocompromised patients with rheumatic diseases have an increased risk of infections. A major risk factor for infection seems to be the immunosuppressive therapy used. Newer therapies for RA may lead to increased rates of infection by opportunistic pathogens such as Mycobacteria tuberculosis. Because disease manifestation may mimic signs and symptoms of infection, prompt diagnosis may be difficult. Familiarity with the likely infections and their causes should aid in obtaining the appropriate culture specimens.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Infections / diagnosis
  • Infections / etiology*
  • Infections / therapy
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Rheumatic Diseases / immunology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Immunosuppressive Agents