Frequency of lymphadenopathy in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus

Calguneri M., Ozturk M., Ozbalkan Z., Akdogan A., Ureten K., Kiraz S., ...More

JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL RESEARCH, vol.31, no.4, pp.345-349, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


This study aimed to assess the frequency of all palpable lymph nodes during active disease and remission in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Hospital records of 100 SLE patients, 100 RA patients, 100 spondyloarthropathy patients, and 150 osteoarthritis patients, treated in our rheumatology department, were evaluated retrospectively. Overall frequencies of enlarged lymph nodes in patients with active RA and SLE were 82% and 69%, respectively. Enlarged lymph nodes associated with RA were mostly located in the axillary region, and in SLE the nodes were smaller and lymphadenopathy was more generalized compared with RA. Palpable lymph nodes disappeared in the majority of patients during remission. Lymphadenopothy was significantly less frequent in patients treated with steroids before admission. Lymph node enlargement is an important physical finding associated with RA and SLE disease activity. Atypical locations and unusually large lymph nodes should raise clinical suspicion of another underlying disease.