Author(s): Dhanya Sukumaran1, Konayi Cherayath Rajini2, Jijith Krishnan3
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown aetiology marked by a symmetric peripheral polyarthritis. It is the most common form of chronic inflammatory arthritis and often results in joint damage and physical disability. The name is based on the term "rheumatic fever", an illness, which includes joint pain and is derived from the Greekword ?ε?μα-rheuma (nom.), ?ε?ματος-rheumatos (gen.) ("flow, current"). The suffix oid ("resembling") gives the translation as joint inflammation that resembles rheumatic fever. The first recognised description of rheumatoid arthritis was made in 1800 by Dr. Augustin Jacob Landré-Beauvais (1772-1840) of Paris. Because, it is a systemic disease, RA may result in a variety of extra-articular manifestations including fatigue, subcutaneous nodules, lung involvement, pericarditis, peripheral neuropathy, vasculitis and haematologic abnormalities.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Patients who were diagnosed cases of rheumatoid arthritis attending the rheumatology clinic were referred to the Ophthalmology OPD in Government Medical College, Thrissur, for detailed eye examination.
The study was conducted in 100 patients (88 females and 12 males). Rheumatoid Factor (RF) was found to be positive in 60 patients (60%), presence of dry eye did not correlate with rheumatoid positivity (Fishers exact test- the two-tailed P value = 0.4256). Through various tests, we concluded that there was aqueous deficiency in 61% and mucin deficiency in 46% of the patients. Other ocular manifestations present were- scleritis (2%), episcleritis (2%) and keratomalacia (2%).
From the present study, we found out that extra-articular involvement of organs in rheumatoid arthritis is significant. The main ocular manifestations in rheumatoid arthritis found in our study were keratoconjunctivitis sicca, episcleritis, scleritis and keratomalacia. Though keratoconjunctivitis sicca was the most common, it did not show any correlation with RF factor, but showed correlation with disease activity.