ABSTRACT: Two elderly patients presented with generalized aches and pains (particularly in the shoulders and the pelvic girdle), stiffness, fatigue, anemia, and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, but there were no signs or symptoms directly referable to the joints. Two and five months later respectively, pain, swelling, and signs of synovitis appeared in several joints in a symmetrical pattern, and a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was made. Rheumatoid arthritis in the elderly may resemble polymyalgia rheumatica. On the other hand, synovitis in many patients with polymyalgia rheumatica may resemble rheumatoid arthritis. In the elderly, the differentiation of these two entities may be difficult. Moreover, patients initially presenting with the signs and symptoms of polymyalgia may eventually manifest typical rheumatoid arthritis.
Journal of American Geriatrics Society – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 1979
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