To compare the histological appearance of synovial membrane and interleukin (IL)-6 levels in synovial fluids of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Synovial tissue and synovial fluids were obtained from 51 knee joints with RA undergoing synovectomy or joint replacements. A histological inflammation score was determined based on the hyperplasia of the synovial lining and infiltration of inflammatory cells. The concentrations of IL-6 in synovial fluids were measured by ELISA. The association between IL-6 levels and histological findings was evaluated. We found a positive correlation between the infiltration of inflammation cells in synovial tissues and the concentration of IL-6 in synovial fluids. The IL-6 level in synovial fluid partially reflects histological synovial inflammation.