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Aortic valve rheumatoid nodules producing clinical aortic regurgitation and a review of the literature

, : Aortic valve rheumatoid nodules producing clinical aortic regurgitation and a review of the literature. Cardiovascular Pathology 8(6): 333-338

The majority of cardiac involvement in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an incidental finding at postmortem, as less than 3% of patients with RA have clinical cardiac signs or symptoms. Most cardiac involvement in RA involves the pericardium and has been known since Charcot first described an RA patient with pericarditis in 1881. Cardiac involvement takes two different forms: non-specific inflammatory changes and specific granuloma formation. Specific rheumatoid nodules in the heart are an infrequent complication of RA. This is the first case report of a surgically excised heart valve with rheumatoid nodules. A 74-year-old RA patient with a high seropositive rheumatoid factor presented with severe aortic regurgitation and underwent a valve replacement. The native aortic valve showed significant stenosis with multiple, classic rheumatoid nodules.


PMID: 10615020

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