What is the pathophysiology of tenosynovitis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Jun 11, 2021
  • Author: Michael Neumeister, MD, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Joseph A Molnar, MD, PhD, FACS  more...
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Early in the process, synovial proliferation results in the accumulation of fluid that causes swelling. As the tissue continues to proliferate, the synovium thickens. Furthermore, small fibrinoid rice bodies can develop in the tendon sheath. Hypertrophic synovial tissue begins to invade and weaken the tendon, eventually leading to rupture. Tendon rupture may also be a result of attrition of the tendon from bony spicules and osteophytes. Rheumatoid nodules can also develop within the tendons and within the subcutaneous tissue.

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