Subcutaneous rheumatoid nodules

Last revised by Rohit Sharma on 12 Feb 2022

Subcutaneous rheumatoid nodules are the most common extra-articular manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis, occurring in up to 40% of patients. They are universally associated with a positive rheumatoid factor (RF) 1.

Clinical presentation

The size of the nodules varies from 2 mm to 5 cm; they are firm, non-tender, and movable in subcutaneous tissue 2. They usually are seen in the subcutaneous plane of the forearm, elbows, occiput, and lumbosacral area 3.


Rheumatoid nodules are characterized histologically by a core of fibrinoid necrosis with surrounding palisading histiocytes and granulation tissue.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: photo
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  • Case 2
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  • Case 1: US
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