Central Nervous System Manifestations in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Safaa Mahran, A.

Associate Professor Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt

Dr. Safaa Mahran, A., Associate Professor Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt.

Keywords: Rheumatoid Arthritis; Cervical Spine; Cervical Myelopath; Subluxation, Nervous System


It affects the synovial joints of the body with special predilection of the small joints of the hands and feet. Many other extraarticular manifestations do exist with affection of the skin, lung, heart, kidneys among others.
Nervous system affection in RA could be central or peripheral. Central nervous system affection in RA may be due to cervical spine involvement by the rheumatoid pannus with the consecutive destruction of the supporting ligaments and bone erosions. Asymptomatic cervical spine involvement is reported in about 20% of RA cases. Cerebral vasculitis and optic neuropathy are rare manifestations.
In conclusion, careful examination of RA patients for the presence of subclinical involvement of cervical spine and considering the central nervous system in these patients are mandatory to avoid the serious permanent sequels.

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