Case Reports in Rheumatology
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Fifty-Two-Week Results of Clinical and Imaging Assessments of a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis Complicated by Systemic Sclerosis with Interstitial Pneumonia and Type 1 Diabetes despite Multiple Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drug Therapy That Was Successfully Treated with Baricitinib: A Novel Case Report

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Case Reports in Rheumatology publishes case reports and case series on paediatric and adult rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions, including novel therapies and advances in surgery and imaging.

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Case Report

An Unusual Case of Peripheral Nerve Vasculitis

Peripheral neuropathy is a common manifestation of systemic vasculitis. The etiology of vasculitic peripheral neuropathy is generally classified into two groups: systemic and nonsystemic. In systemic vasculitic neuropathy (SVN), neuropathy is a consequence of a systemic disease, most commonly involving medium and small vessels throughout the body. There are three main clinical presentations: multifocal neuropathy, distal symmetric polyneuropathy, and overlapping multifocal neuropathy. Specifically, distal symmetric polyneuropathy affects multiple somatic nerves diffusely in a symmetric and length-dependent pattern (also known as the classic stocking-glove pattern). This case represents an atypical presentation of SVN, presenting with widespread symmetric polyneuropathy.A 73-year-old woman presented with distal acute on chronic bilateral upper and lower extremity weakness, sensory changes, and widespread pain. Symptoms started about three months prior and gradually worsened with progressive difficulty with ambulation and required assistive devices. Elevated ESR is at 70 mm/hour, CRP at 25.66 mg/dL, elevated c-ANCA titers at 1 : 320 and PR3 at 5.0 AI, and elevated creatine kinase (CK) at 500–600 U/L. A muscle biopsy of the left vastus showed neurogenic atrophy without myositis. Initial improvement was with oral prednisone, but was stopped on discharge. Many purpuric and petechial lesions were developed on distal legs/feet and right fourth digit distal gangrene. EMG showed distal, symmetric, and axonal polyneuropathy affecting the upper and lower extremities and acute denervation in more distal muscles. The patient received pulse dose steroids and two doses of rituximab induction therapy and was discharged with an oral steroid taper. The patient’s symptoms started as distal symmetric neuropathy at the onset and progressively worsened over the course of 3 months. Neuropathy, both on the exam and on EMG, seemed to have developed more rapidly than expected, regardless of its distribution. The EMG showed severe peripheral nerve damage and denervation, which is unusual for ANCA-associated systemic vasculitis.

Case Report

A New Case of Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis Presented with Tolosa–Hunt Syndrome Manifestations

Background. Tolosa–Hunt syndrome (THS) is a rare disorder involving the orbital and retro-orbital space. The typical symptoms include sensory loss in the trigeminal nerve’s distribution, orbital pain, swelling, headaches, and cranial nerve palsies. Case Presentation. We report a 40-year-old female who initially presented with biparietal headache, unresponsive to medication, which then led to ophthalmoplegia and orbital pain. Serological findings demonstrated positive CANCA-PR3. She was initially treated with 1 g pulse methylprednisolone for three days. Based on the rheumatological evaluation and her positive lung nodule, hematuria, dysmorphic red blood cells, and positive antiproteinase 3 classic antineutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (CANCA-PR3) and also based on the diagnostic criteria for granulomatosis with polyangiitis criteria for Wegner disease, her treatment was continued with prednisolone 1 mg/kg and also rituximab at the first and 14th day of treatment. Conclusion. In our case of THS, we achieved satisfactory improvement in symptoms through the administration of high-dose steroids.

Case Report

Rare Causes of Musculoskeletal Pain: Thinking beyond Common Rheumatologic Diseases

Objectives. Rare metabolic bone diseases can present with symptoms mimicking more common rheumatological conditions including spondyloarthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. Increasing awareness of these rare diseases within the rheumatology community is vital to ensure that affected patients are diagnosed and appropriately treated. The literature includes several reports of tumour-induced osteomalacia initially diagnosed as rheumatic disease, but other rare diseases such as X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) and hypophosphatasia (HPP) also deserve attention. Here, we describe two cases of adult patients incorrectly diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis who, upon referral to a metabolic bone disease specialist, were subsequently diagnosed with XLH and HPP, respectively, profoundly altering their management. Methods. The cases were collected from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA. Results. Details of the patients’ respective medical and family histories are presented, and the clinical and biochemical investigations undertaken to reach the correct diagnoses are described. Conclusion. Rheumatologists should be encouraged to think beyond common rheumatological diseases when faced with symptoms such as bone pain, muscle pain, and stiffness, especially when accompanied by manifestations including atraumatic fractures, poor dentition, and hearing loss. In cases where one of these rare diseases is suspected, referral to a metabolic bone disease specialist for confirmation of diagnosis is encouraged as effective treatment options have recently become available.

Case Report

A Case Report of Anti-TIF1-γAntibody-Positive Dermatomyositis Concomitant with Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder

Small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma is rare among urinary bladder cancer types, and to date, there are no case reports of concurrent antitranscriptional intermediary factor 1-γantibody-positive dermatomyositis. We describe the case of a 69-year-old Japanese man who presented with elevated creatine kinase levels and haematuria on medical examination. Approximately one month later, he developed dysphagia. Laryngoscopy confirmed laryngeal dysfunction. He also presented with muscle weakness and a skin rash. Magnetic resonance imaging of the upper extremities suggested bilateral brachial muscle myositis. He was diagnosed as having dermatomyositis and was later found to be positive for antitranscriptional intermediary factor 1-γ antibody. Computed tomography revealed an intravesical space-occupying lesion and right iliac lymphadenopathy, suggesting urinary bladder cancer. The patient was admitted to our hospital for treatment. Urinary bladder biopsy confirmed small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma because tumour cells were positive for synaptophysin, CD56, and chromogranin A. Thus, the patient was diagnosed as having an antitranscriptional intermediary factor 1-γantibody-positive dermatomyositis concomitant with urinary bladder small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. The patient was treated with glucocorticoid and intravenous immune globulin therapy for dermatomyositis. Radiotherapy was selected for the carcinoma. Although muscle weakness and skin symptoms improved with treatment, dysphagia persisted. Furthermore, expression of the transcriptional intermediary factor 1-γ protein in tumour cells was also confirmed by immunohistochemistry, but the significance is unknown. It should be noted that antitranscriptional intermediary factor 1-γantibody-positive dermatomyositis can occur concomitantly with such a rare malignancy.

Case Report

Usefulness of Sarilumab in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis after Regression of Lymphoproliferative Disorders

Lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) are serious complications associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment that mostly occur during methotrexate (MTX) treatment. Cessation of MTX may induce regression of LPDs but is often followed by a flare of RA. Here, we describe two patients with RA flares after the discontinuation of MTX due to LPDs and sarilumab was useful for the treatment of RA without a relapse of LPDs. Patient 1 was an 84-year-old woman, who developed an LPD in the pharyngeal region after 7 years of MTX treatment. Discontinuation of MTX induced regression of LPD but RA flared within 6 months. Administration of sarilumab, in addition to salazosulfapyridine and prednisolone, reduced the RA activity without LPD relapse. Patient 2 was a 76-year-old man, who developed LPD in the pharyngeal region after 5 years of MTX treatment. Discontinuation of MTX induced regression of LPD, but soon RA flared. Although treatment with tocilizumab (TCZ) was effective in controlling RA, it flared again after 2 years. TCZ was switched to sarilumab and RA was in remission. LPD did not recur during these periods.

Case Report

The Diagnostic Dilemma of “The Great Imitator”: Heart and Cerebral Involvement of Lupus Manifesting as Bilateral Upper and Lower Extremity Weakness

Background. Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) is an autoimmune condition which can cause complex, multiorgan dysfunction. This autoimmune disease is caused by the production of antinuclear antibodies which allows this disease to target virtually any organ in the human body. When a patient experiences an unpredictable worsening of disease activity, it is generally considered a lupus flare. Organ dysfunction due to a lupus flare tends to manifest as separate events in the literature and rarely do we witness multiple compounding organ failures during a lupus flare. If we do witness organ dysfunction and failure, rarely do we see cardiac and cerebral involvement. Typically, patients take immunosuppressants for a long term to avoid the patient’s disease process from worsening and to provide prophylaxis from a flare to occur. Despite the availability in preventive strategies, some patients will have increased disease activity multiple times throughout their lifetime and will need increases in their medication doses or changes to their regimen. Some flares can be managed in the clinic, but more severe ones may be life-threatening that they require intravenous medications and hospitalization to achieve remission. In the following case, we see a patient with a past medical history of SLE on multiple immunosuppressants who arrived at the hospital with acute, bilateral weakness of the upper and lower extremities. It was later determined via various imaging and laboratory testing that she was having an SLE flare that was directly causing myocarditis which progressed to global ischemia of the brain via myocardial hypoperfusion. She experienced substantial recovery from her flare with treatment with high-dose, intravenous corticosteroids. Case Report. A 27-year-old female with a 2-year history of lupus and a 1-week history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation presented with three days of bilateral focal neurological deficits in the arms and legs. She was found to have ischemic cardiac and neurologic manifestations during her hospital stay. Conclusion. Our patient presented with reversible focal neurological deficits, elevated high-sensitive troponin levels, and high lupus serum antibodies who showed significant improvement after the introduction of high-dose steroids. This case recommends keeping a large differential and to not discount patients’ past comorbidities for causing atypical symptomatology.

Case Reports in Rheumatology
 Journal metrics
See full report
Acceptance rate23%
Submission to final decision134 days
Acceptance to publication11 days
CiteScore-
Journal Citation Indicator-
Impact Factor-
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