Gastrointestinal involvement in rheumatoid arthritis: a biopsy study

J Rheumatol. Mar-Apr 1979;6(2):163-73.


Gastric, colonic and rectal biopsies were obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The histologic study demonstrated a greater incidence of pathological findings compared to normal subjects or in patients with gastrointestinal diseases. The histologic changes were characterized by partial or complete loss of superficial epithelium and glanmphocytes, plasma cells, granulocytes, and the presence of vasculitic lesions. These histologic findings suggest that a chronic rheumatoid inflammatory process may affect the gastrointestinal system, in keeping with the concept that rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Colon / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gastritis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proctitis / etiology
  • Rectum / pathology*
  • Stomach / pathology*