Hand flexor tenosynovitis in rheumatoid arthritis. Prevalence, distribution, and associated rheumatic features

R G Gray, N L Gottlieb
Arthritis and Rheumatism 1977, 20 (4): 1003-8
Tenosynovitis of one or more flexor tendons of the hand (mean 3.1 tendons per patient) was noted in 55% of 100 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) examined periodically during a mean period of 5 years. The third flexor tendon was involved most frequently (71% of patients), followed by the second (62%), fourth (53%), fifth (27%), and first (13%). Patients with flexor tendonitis (FT) had a significantly higher prevalence of rheumatoid nodules (56% vs 33%), carpal tunnel syndrome (47% vs 13%), wrist extensor tenosynovitis (47% vs 9%), and elbow epicondylitis (22% vs 7%) than patients without FT. Dupuytren's contracture, DeQuervain's tenovaginitis, flexor carpi radialis and ulnaris tendonitis, and Achilles tendonitis were found exclusively in patients with FT. A control group of 50 non-RA patients with FT had statistically fewer diseased tendons per patient (mean 1.5) and a different digital distribution, the thumb being affected more frequently (P less than 0.05) than in RA patients.

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