Apparent cure of rheumatoid arthritis by bone marrow transplantation

J Rheumatol. 1993 Jan;20(1):137-40.


We describe the induction of sustained remissions and possible cure of severe erosive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in 2 patients. BMT was used to treat severe aplastic anemia which was caused by gold in one case and D-penicillamine in the other. In the 8 and 6 years since the transplants (representing 8 and 4 years since cessation of all immunosuppressive therapy, respectively), the RA in each case has been completely quiescent. Although short term remission of severe RA following BMT has been reported, these are the first cases for which prolonged followup has been available. This experience raises the question of the role of BMT itself as a therapeutic option for patients with uncontrolled destructive synovitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Aplastic / chemically induced
  • Anemia, Aplastic / therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / surgery*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Female
  • Gold / adverse effects
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Humans
  • Penicillamine / adverse effects
  • Radiography
  • Remission Induction


  • Gold
  • Penicillamine