One hundred and forty-one patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with aurothiopropanol sulphonate or D-penicillamine, or both were examined for HLA antigens to investigate the genetic influence on the occurrence of different adverse reactions during therapy. All 13 patients possessing HLA-DR3 had toxic reactions. The relative risk for DR3 positives of developing skin eruptions or proteinuria was calculated to be 10.5 times and seven times respectively that of DR3 negatives. The incidence of DR7 antigen in 94 patients with toxic reactions was significantly decreased (11% compared with 28% in controls) suggesting a protective role for this antigen.
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