Which organ systems are affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

Updated: Feb 07, 2020
  • Author: Howard R Smith, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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RA affects several organ systems, as follows:

  • Cutaneous

  • Cardiac

  • Pulmonary

  • Renal

  • Gastrointestinal (GI)

  • Vascular

  • Hematologic

  • Neurologic

  • Ocular

Subcutaneous nodules (rheumatoid nodules) develop in many RA patients whose RF value is abnormal, often over pressure points (eg, olecranon). Vasculitic lesions of the skin may manifest as palpable purpura or skin ulceration (eg, leg ulceration). Additionally, palmar erythema and pyoderma gangrenosum may be noted.

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