OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the outcome of patients with remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting oedema (RS3PE). METHODS--In a retrospective chart review study, we identified all the patients presenting with polyarthritis and pitting oedema in the past 20 years. We tried to recall the 24 patients with characteristics of RS3PE according to McCarty et al. Two patients had died and four could not be traced. Five could not be seen after the initial period of follow up; relevant data were obtained from their practitioner. For the remaining 13 patients, clinical, radiological, and biological evaluation was performed in our department, with the last assessment in 1993. RESULTS--The follow up period was from one to 18 years (mean 4.6 (SD 4.5) years). Eleven patients developed one or several recurrences of articular manifestations consisting of mild oligoarthritis (n = 8), definite spondyloarthropathy (n = 2), and rheumatoid arthritis (n = 1). The delay of the first recurrence was 18 months to 12 years after the first attack. Thirteen patients had no recurrence, but three of them developed remarkable features: rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies (1/2000), Sjögren's syndrome. HLA B typing was performed in nine patients and revealed B7 (n = 2), B27 (n = 2) and B22 (n = 2). Isolated HLA B27 typing was performed in two other patients and was positive in one. CONCLUSION--The long term outcome of RS3PE can lead to different rheumatic diseases. RS3PE appears to be a syndrome related to the elderly onset of the rheumatic diseases, including spondyloarthropathy and rheumatoid arthritis, rather than a specific entity.
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