BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuRheumatoid lung diseaseLung disease - rheumatoid arthritis; Rheumatoid nodules; Rheumatoid lungRheumatoid lung disease is a group of lung problems related to rheumatoid arthritis. The condition can include:Rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It is a long-term disease. It can also aff...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Blockage of the small airways (bronchiolitis obliterans) Fluid in the chest (pleural effusions) Pleural effusionsA pleural effusion is a buildup of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article High blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension) Pulmonary hypertensionPulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. It makes the right side of the heart work harder than normal.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Lumps in the lungs (nodules) Scarring (pulmonary fibrosis)Pulmonary fibrosisInterstitial lung disease (ILD) is a group of lung disorders in which the lung tissues become inflamed and then damaged.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Lung problems are common in rheumatoid arthritis. They often cause no symptoms.The cause of lung disease associated with rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. Sometimes, the medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, especially methotrexate, may result in lung disease. Symptoms Symptoms may include any of the following:Chest pain Cough Fever Shortness of breath Shortness of breathBreathing difficulty may involve:Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathingFeeling like you are not getting enough airImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling Skin nodules Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask about your symptoms.Symptoms depend on the type of lung disease rheumatoid arthritis is causing in the lungs.The provider may hear crackles (rales) when listening to the lungs with a stethoscope. Or, there may be decreased breath sounds, wheezing, a rubbing sound, or normal breath sounds. When listening to the heart, there may be abnormal heart sounds.The following tests may show signs of rheumatoid lung disease:Chest x-ray Chest x-rayA chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article CT scan of the chest CT scan of the chestA chest CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Echocardiogram (may show pulmonary hypertension) EchocardiogramAn echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart. The picture and information it produces is more detailed than a s...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Lung biopsy (bronchoscopic, video-assisted, or open) OpenAn open lung biopsy is surgery to remove a small piece of tissue from the lung. The sample is then examined for cancer, infection, or lung disease....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Lung function tests Lung function testsPulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure breathing and how well the lungs are functioning.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Needle inserted into the fluid around the lung (thoracentesis) ThoracentesisThoracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid from the space between the lining of the outside of the lungs (pleura) and the wall of the chest....Read Article Now Book Mark Article Blood tests for rheumatoid arthritisBlood tests for rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid factor (RF) is a blood test that measures the amount of the RF antibody in the blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Many people with this condition have no symptoms. Treatment is aimed at the health problems causing the lung problem and the complications caused by the disorder. Corticosteroids or other medicines that suppress the immune system are sometimes useful.There is no evidence that pirfenidone or nintedanib work for people with rheumatoid lung disease and fibrosis (like they do for the idiopathic form of the disease). Outlook (Prognosis) Outcome is related to the underlying disorder and the type and severity of lung disease. In severe cases, lung transplantation can be considered. This is more common in cases of bronchiolitis obliterans, pulmonary fibrosis, or pulmonary hypertension. Possible Complications Rheumatoid lung disease may lead to: Collapsed lung (pneumothorax) PneumothoraxA collapsed lung occurs when air escapes from the lung. The air then fills the space outside of the lung between the lung and chest wall. This buil...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Pulmonary hypertension When to Contact a Medical Professional Call your provider right away if you have rheumatoid arthritis and you develop unexplained breathing difficulties.Open ReferencesReferencesCorte TJ, Wells AU. Connective tissue diseases. In: Broaddus VC, Ernst JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 92.Yunt ZX, Solomon JJ. Lung disease in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2015;41(2):225-236. PMID: PMC4415514 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415514/.AllVideoImagesTogBronchoscopy - illustration Bronchoscopy is a surgical technique for viewing the interior of the airways. Using sophisticated flexible fiber optic instruments, surgeons are able to explore the trachea, main stem bronchi, and some of the small bronchi. In children, this procedure may be used to remove foreign objects that have been inhaled. In adults, the procedure is most often used to take samples of (biopsy) suspicious lesions and for culturing specific areas in the lung.BronchoscopyillustrationRespiratory system - illustration Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.Respiratory systemillustrationBronchoscopy - illustration Bronchoscopy is a surgical technique for viewing the interior of the airways. Using sophisticated flexible fiber optic instruments, surgeons are able to explore the trachea, main stem bronchi, and some of the small bronchi. In children, this procedure may be used to remove foreign objects that have been inhaled. In adults, the procedure is most often used to take samples of (biopsy) suspicious lesions and for culturing specific areas in the lung.BronchoscopyillustrationRespiratory system - illustration Air is breathed in through the nasal passageways, travels through the trachea and bronchi to the lungs.Respiratory systemillustrationA Closer Look Rheumatoid arthritis(In-Depth) Tests for Rheumatoid lung disease BronchoscopyRheumatoid factor (RF)Open lung biopsyRelated Information Rheumatoid arthritis(Condition)Pleural effusion(Condition)Interstitial lung disease(Condition)Collapsed lung (pneumothorax)(Condition)Pulmonary hypertension(Condition)Interstitial lung disease - adults - discharge(Discharge)Rheumatoid arthritis(In-Depth) Review Date: 5/30/2021 Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron, Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.