Article Text


Chronic arthritis associated with the presence of intrasynovial rubella virus.
  1. R Grahame,
  2. R Armstrong,
  3. N Simmons,
  4. J M Wilton,
  5. M Dyson,
  6. R Laurent,
  7. R Millis,
  8. C A Mims


    In this report we present 21 instances in which live rubella virus was isolated from synovial fluid obtained from 6 cases of inflammatory oligoarthritis or polyarthritis over a period of 2 years in the absence of firm clinical evidence of rubella. In 3 cases (cases 1, 2, 6,) a persistent oligoarthritis predominantly affecting the knee joints occurred in 2 adult women and one man, lasting to date 27, 29, and 18 months respectively, and in one of these cases virions were found in cells of the synovial membrane. In case 3 a boy of 9 presented with an illness indistinguishable from the systemic variety of juvenile chronic arthritis (Still's disease). In case 4 a young man with persistent monoarthritis was found to have ankylosing spondylitis, and in case 5 a progressive erosive polyarthritis developed 5 years after an attack of rubella complicated by rubella arthritis. The virus was identified by a variety of virological techniques and infection confirmed by immunofluorescence and (in one case) electron microscopy.

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