The Non-ILD Pulmonary Manifestations of RA

Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM)


Pulmonary manifestations in RA can involve any of the intrathoracic compartments including the lung parenchyma, airways, pleura, and the pulmonary vasculature. Parenchymal lung disease consists of interstitial lung disease (ILD) and rheumatoid lung nodules. Rheumatoid lung nodules can be confused for malignancy. Airway diseases include cricoarytenoiditis, bronchiectasis, and small airway disease including constrictive bronchiolitis which can cause progressive airflow obstruction resulting in respiratory failure. Other forms of intrathoracic involvement include pleuritis, pleural effusion, and pulmonary vasculitis. In addition, drug-induced lung disease and pulmonary infections are relatively common in this patient population. Appropriate management of pulmonary disease in patients with RA depends on identifying the exact nature of the pulmonary involvement and its severity as well as the underlying cause and individual patient context.


Bronchiectasis Bronchiolitis Caplan’s syndrome Interstitial lung disease Pleural effusion Pleuritis Rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid lung nodule 



Conflicts of interest: none for both authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineMayo Clinic College of Medicine & ScienceRochesterUSA

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