Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, autoimmune, progressive condition characterised by progressive synovitis with resultant joint destruction, functional disability and significant pain. Recent experimental data indicates that there may be a neuropathic component of pain perception in RA.
Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the development of neuropathic pain (NP) in patients with RA and its relationship with vitamin D.
Methods We used the Leeds assessment of neuropathic symptoms and signs (LANSS) questionnaire to evaluate NP in 93 patients with RA. Clinical parameters included general demographics, and disease activity scores were evaluated. The patients also completed Short form-36 survey, and Health Assessment Questionnaire.
Results Of all the patients who were eligible for the study, 75 were female (80.6%). Mean serum vitamin D level of the participants was calculated to be 22.8±11.9 ng/mL. According to the LANSS questionnaire 31 patients (33.3%) were classified as having NP. There was a negative correlation between vitamin D levels and LANSS value (p=0.001). We have determined that patients with vitamin D serum levels below 20 ng/mL have significantly higher NP positivity rate (p=0.012), besides they have 5.8 times more risk of developing NP when compared to patients with vitamin D serum levels ≥30 ng/mL.
Conclusions We conclude that Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in RA patients with NP. Once it is the right diagnosis, Vitamin D deficiency treatment is relatively easy, safe, inexpensive and with satisfactory outcomes; therefore, an underlying vitamin D deficiency should be explored in the etiology of NP in patients with RA.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared