The effect of long-term methotrexate therapy on hepatic fibrosis in rheumatoid arthritis

Arthritis Rheum. 1993 Dec;36(12):1697-701. doi: 10.1002/art.1780361208.


Objective: To evaluate the progression of hepatic fibrosis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with methotrexate (MTX).

Methods: Fifteen patients receiving MTX for RA were prospectively studied by electron microscopic analysis of biopsy specimens.

Results: Five of the 15 patients had evidence of increased hepatic collagen after 2 years of MTX therapy.

Conclusion: Hepatic fibrosis may progress in a subgroup of RA patients treated with MTX.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Biopsy
  • Collagen / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Liver Cirrhosis / chemically induced*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / adverse effects*
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Microscopy, Electron


  • Collagen
  • Methotrexate