Pulmonary disease during the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with low dose pulse methotrexate

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1987 Feb;16(3):186-95. doi: 10.1016/0049-0172(87)90021-7.


Methotrexate therapy has been effective in the treatment of RA with short term experience suggesting little serious adverse reactions. Our review of 168 patients receiving methotrexate has identified nine patients with probable or possible methotrexate-induced pulmonary toxicity, giving a prevalence of 5% and an incidence of 3.9 per 100 patients per year. No clinical or laboratory features showed an association that could potentially predict the development of pulmonary disease. All patients experienced complete recovery with supportive care and/or corticosteroid therapy. Clinical monitoring for this complication is warranted in all patients receiving long term methotrexate therapy for RA.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects*
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged


  • Methotrexate