The radiographic evolution of joint lesions in 41 patients with severe and longstanding rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (mean duration: 12.9 years) treated with methotrexate (MTX) for more than 24 months (mean 31.2 months) was studied in a double blind manner by 2 rheumatologists using Larsen's score. All the patients were clinically improved. The radiological study of hands and wrists was possible in only 37 of 41 patients for surgical reasons. We found a deterioration of joint lesions in 31 cases (83.8%), a stabilization in 6 cases (16.2%). MTX does not appear to be able to slow down the radiographic evolution of RA. Whether it could prevent the radiologic progression in early RA remains to be elucidated.