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Cervical spine involvement is rare in early arthritis
  1. I C van Eijk1,
  2. M M J Nielen1,
  3. R M van Soesbergen1,
  4. H L Hamburger2,
  5. P J S M Kerstens1,
  6. B A C Dijkmans1,3,
  7. D van Schaardenburg1,3
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Jan van Breemen Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Jan van Breemen Institute and Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr D van Schaardenburg
    Jan van Breemenstraat 2, 1056 AB Amsterdam; d.v.schaardenburg{at}janvanbreemen.nl

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Chronic inflammatory arthritis may cause subluxation of the cervical spine.1,2 Risk factors for this complication include the presence of rheumatoid factor and severe peripheral joint disease.3–7

The reported prevalence of cervical involvement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) varies widely from 17% to 88%.7–9 In early RA5,6,10 cervical involvement is much less common, and a recent trial suggested that it might be further reduced with the use of early aggressive treatment for RA.5 The present cross sectional study assesses the prevalence and clinical significance of cervical spine involvement as encountered in our early arthritis clinic, which includes patients with peripheral arthritis …

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