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Several cases of fatal exacerbations of fibrosing alveolitis associated with rheumatoid arthritis after infliximab treatment have recently been reported.1 We report here a case of fatal exacerbation of pulmonary fibrosis after adalimumab treatment in a patient with polyarthritis related to systemic sclerosis (SSc).
The patient, a 74 year old woman, had been diagnosed 5 years previously with severe Raynaud’s syndrome, sclerodactyly, pulmonary fibrosis, abnormal oesophageal peristalsis, and non-specific antinuclear antibodies (1/100; indirect immunofluorescence on Hep 2 cells). She also had severe distal polyarthritis affecting the wrists, metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints, with demineralisation but no erosion on x ray examination. She tested negative for rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies. Successive treatments with low dose prednisone associated with methotrexate, leflunomide or azathioprine were ineffective.
In February 2004 she had a 28 joint count Disease Activity Score (DAS28) score of 7.8, a Health …
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