Is there a relationship between RA and pericardial effusion?Is there a relationship between RA and pericardial effusion?

Because of details in a CT scan for kidney stones, I was directed to get an echocardiogram and my first ever visit to a cardiologist. It turns out I have a pericardial effusion around my heart. I have had 4 other echos during the year since then and the results are the same. The water is still there, this is not normal we are just keeping an eye on it. The cardiologist says the RA could be contributing to the situation but there is not a way to know that for sure. My rehumatologist asks if the cardio doc thinks he should stop up my treatment and I have not found anything to read about the situation. I have stellar cholesterol numbers, my heart valves are working fine, blood flow and heart muscle are great. I take a "cocktail" of meds for my RA plaquenil, methotrexate, prednisone and sulindac which keeps the symptoms in control.
Do you know if there is a direct link from my effusion to my RA? Any questions that I should ask either specialist to pinpoint treatments? I see my rheumatologist 4 times a year, but have only been seen by the cardiologist the one time--I have an annual appt with her in mid February.

Answers from our Doctors

tshaver's picture
Dr. Timothy S. Shaver says:

A small subset of rheumatoid arthritis patients will demonstrate a pericardial effusion, or more commonly fluid around the lungs, known as a pleural effusion. It sounds as if there are no other obvious causes for the pericardial effusion given your otherwise good health status, so it would be reasonable to conclude that the fluid is due to your rheumatoid arthritis. We could make a more compelling argument for this if you arthritis were also active and inadequately controlled, but this complication can occur even when the joint disease is stable. As long as the fluid is not causing pain or compromising the heart muscle function, it does not need to be addressed specifically but should be watched, which is what your cardiologist is doing. I would want to know if she saw any reason to aspirate the fluid for diagnostic studies (if there is enough fluid to safely aspirate). The other concern is that chronic inflammation around the pericardium can rarely result in something called constrictive pericarditis, and this can compromise heart function. I would also ask your cardiologist if she saw this as a possibility that concerns her. Best wishes!

Answered on: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 21:04

Comments

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:23

Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today i find it finally. this post give me lots of advise it is very useful for me. seo

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:25

I liked your article and I hope you will have many entries or more youtube

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:27

If you don"t mind proceed with this extraordinary work and I anticipate a greater amount of your magnificent blog entries youtube

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:28

I will really appreciate the writer's choice for choosing this excellent article appropriate to my matter.Here is deep description about the article matter which helped me more. Affiliate Marketing

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:31

Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for such kinda informative post and your post looks very interesting for me youtube

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:31

Truly, this article is really one of the very best in the history of articles. I am a antique ’Article’ collector and I sometimes read some new articles if I find them interesting. And I found this one pretty fascinating and it should go into my collection. Very good work! Affiliate Marketing

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:33

This was among the best posts and episode from your team it let me learn many new things. youtube

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:34

This is an excellent post I seen thanks to share it. It is really what I wanted to see hope in future you will continue for sharing such a excellent post. Affiliate Marketing

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:35

This post is good enough to make somebody understand this amazing thing, and I’m sure everyone will appreciate this interesting things. youtube

Commenting: Guest
06/18/2021 - 11:37

Excellent effort to make this blog more wonderful and attractive. youtube

Add comment