Incidence of ocular complications in rheumatoid arthritis and the relation of keratoconjunctivitis sicca with its systemic activity

T. Matsuo, R. Kono, N. Matsuo, K. Ezawa, M. Natsumeda, K. Soda, H. Ezawa

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To investigate the incidence of ocular complications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis under modern modalities of treatment and find the relationship between its systemic activity and ocular complications, routine ophthalmological examinations were done as a prospective study in 111 consecutive patients including 89 inpatients and 22 outpatients with rheumatoid arthritis seen from April to May 1995, in a hospital with a special clinic for rheumatology. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (secondary Sjogren's syndrome) was found in 19 patients (17.1%), scleritis in one patient (0.9%), central retinal vein occlusion in 2 patients (1.8%), and idiopathic retinal hemorrhage in 3 patients (2.7%). Patients with keratoconjunctivitis sicca had significantly higher titers of rheumatoid factor (Mann-Whitney's U-test, p = 0.0048), higher levels of IgM (p = 0.0484), and lower levels of HDL-cholesterol (p = 0.0191), compared to patients without it. The incidence of ocular complications was comparable to the previous studies and keratoconjunctivitis sicca should be considered in patients with high titers of rheumatoid factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-116
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997



  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
  • Ocular complications
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid factor
  • Secondary Sjogren's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology

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