Eight of 11 patients who satisfy Smythe's criteria for the 'fibrositis' syndrome have subsequently developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Six of the 8 patients have gone on to develop an inflammatory polyarthritis, 3 of whom are seropositive and satisfy the criteria for classical rheumatoid arthritis. The relationship between the 'fibrositis' syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis is not clear, but the additional complication of carpal tunnel syndrome in 'fibrositis' points to certain patients with 'fibrositis' developing an inflammatory polyarthritis of rheumatoid type. Acceptance on a definition of 'fibrositis' would enable further prospective studies to take place, but at present the term is used to describe many other nonarticular conditions that do not satisfy Smythe's criteria.
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