Erbium--169 was compared with triamcinolone hexacetonide in the topical treatment of 32 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Erbium--169 was injected into 83 and triamcinolone hexacetonide into 54 proximal interphalangeal or metacarpophalangeal joints. Both treatments produced alleviation of joint pain and swelling and improvement of grip strength. At every check-up (1--18 months) the percentage of remissions was higher after triamcinolone hexacetonide injection than after erbium--169. The difference was significant at 1, 3, and 6 months.
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