[Bronchiectasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Incidence and etiopathogenic aspects. Review of the literature]

Rev Med Interne. 1997;18(2):144-52. doi: 10.1016/s0248-8663(97)84681-4.
[Article in French]


Many pleural and pulmonary manifestations are described in rheumatoid arthritis, due to the disease itself or drug-induced. A literature review revealed 289 reports of bronchiectasis since 1928, the respiratory symptoms preceding the articular features in 90%. Although the frequency of bronchiectasis in the general population is difficult to assess, and thus maybe underestimated, the prevalence in rheumatoid arthritis seems higher. Thus the recent studies, using modern processes such as high resolution computed tomography of the lungs, assess this association to about 25%. Nevertheless, the methodology of these studies is open to criticism, so the high frequency must be qualified. The pathogenic and aetiological factors remain unknown, and miscellaneous hypotheses, especially immunological, have been suggested. The relationship between both affections can not be asserted, but the association is unlikely to be fortuitous.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Bronchiectasis / complications*
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchiectasis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed