Jaccoud's arthropathy is a chronic deforming synovitis occurring in a subset of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). To evaluate whether patients with SLE and Jaccoud's arthropathy behave differently in their acute phase reaction from patients with SLE without Jaccoud's arthropathy, a prospective study was carried out on 72 consecutive patients with SLE. Patients were assessed for Jaccoud's arthropathy according to a protocol, disease activity was scored, and laboratory tests, including tests for C reactive protein, were performed. Seven patients were classified as having definite Jaccoud's arthropathy. In those patients the serum concentrations of C reactive protein were higher than in those without Jaccoud's arthropathy, whereas disease activity scores and treatment were comparable. Additionally, patients with Jaccoud's arthropathy had a longer disease duration and a longer history of arthritis than those without, whereas IgM rheumatoid factor was observed more often. The increased concentration of C reactive protein in patients with Jaccoud's arthropathy is compatible with a persistent inflammatory reaction. Serial testing of C reactive protein in combination with other laboratory parameters may be a guideline for treatment in patients with SLE and Jaccoud's arthropathy.
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