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16 April 2014 - Case of the Week #308

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Case of the Week #308

Clinical History:
A 52 year old woman had pain in the right wrist joint for 6 months. The Xray was suggestive of aggressive giant cell tumor. A biopsy was obtained.

Radiologic images:

Bony lesion

MRI of bony lesion

Micro images:

What is your diagnosis?

Monoarticular erosive rheumatoid arthritis

Histology showed a pannus (abnormal layer of fibrovascular or granulation tissue) with a significant papillary proliferation of capillaries and mononuclear cell infiltrate. Serology showed that the RA factor was strongly positive and anti-CCP antibodies were present at >300 U/ml. These features are consistent with rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthroscopic synovial biopsy may give conclusive diagnosis where clinical diagnosis is equivocal (Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2012;2:102). Biopsies of rheumatoid arthritis affected joints show a proliferative synovitis with synovial cell hyperplasia and hypertrophy. There is a dense perivascular infiltrate of T cells, plasma cells (often with eosinophilic cytoplasmic inclusions called Russell bodies) and macrophages. There are variable germinal centers, necrobiotic nodules and fibrosis. The inflammation may extend to the subchondral bone, which is relatively specific for rheumatoid arthritis.

Later findings include organizing fibrin floating in joint space as rice bodies, pannus formation progressing to fibrous ankylosis, then ossifying to form bony ankylosis (The Open Rheumatology Journal 2011;5 (Suppl 1:M3):107). There is typically minimal evidence of repair (proliferative cartilage, sclerotic bone or osteophytes).

Nat Pernick, M.D., President
and Palak Thakore, Associate Medical Editor
PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
30100 Telegraph Road, Suite 408
Bingham Farms, Michigan (USA) 48025
Telephone: 248/646-0325
Email: NatPernick@Hotmail.com
Alternate email: NatPernick@gmail.com