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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Together?

10/01/2009

Question:

Is it possible to have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus at the same time? I have had RA for about 30 years - I was first diagnosed when I was 37. I have always had Rheumatoid nodules along with it. In the last new years I have been told that my bloodwork (over and over) shows that I have Lupus - Very elevated ANA, lupus rash that was biopsied, plural effusion, vasculitis with periphial neuropathy. I also have hypothroidism and Sjogren`s Syndrome(for many years). I am taking Methotrexate, Humira injections, and prednisone for my RA. I had previously been told that one could not have both RA and Lupus. Thanks for your input.

Answer:

It is possible to have features of two different rheumatic diseases that overlap on one another. As you have described, you have a long-standing history of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and more recently have developed symptoms that can be found in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Your Rheumatologist may even be able to tell you if you meet a classification criteria for SLE (developed by the ARA, now known as the ACR).

One extra consideration: The class of medicine in which adalimumab (Humira) resides has rarely been known to cause an elevated ANA blood test, a lupus-like disease, or even SLE.

For more information:

Go to the Arthritis and Rheumatism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University