Missed our latest free live-stream? Catch up now with Intracranial Enhancement by Frank Gaillard

Rheumatoid arthritis (pulmonary manifestations)

Pulmonary manifestations are relatively common in rheumatoid arthritis, and like many of its non-articular manifestations, tend to develop later in the disease.

Please refer to the related articles for a general discussion of rheumatoid arthritis, and for the specific discussion of its musculoskeletal manifestations.

Although RA is more common in women, respiratory disease more commonly develops in men 6.

Respiratory symptoms are often absent, or nonspecific such as dyspnea and chronic cough. 

Patterns of lung involvement include interstitial, airway and pleural disease.

Pleural involvement is a common manifestation of RA, although usually asymptomatic. 

  • pleural thickening: is seen more commonly than pleural effusions
  • pleural effusions: occur late in the disease, are often unilateral and associated with pericarditis and subcutaneous nodules 5

Other manifestations include:

Chest radiograph may show: 

Chest CT or HRCT features include:


Article information

rID: 12432
System: Chest
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Rheumatoid lung
  • Pulmonary and thoracic manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thoracic manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Respiratory manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lung manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid lungs
  • Rheumatoid arthrtitis related lung conditions
  • Pulmonary manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: rheumatoid intestitial lung disease
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: with UIP pattern
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3: discrete UIP pattern
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.