Test your rheumatology
Qasim Akram and colleagues make sense of seemingly unrelated symptoms
- By: Qasim Akram, Elizabeth Macphie, Romela Benitha
A 58 year old white man presented with a six month history of arthralgia that affected his shoulders, hands, ankles, and feet, associated with early morning stiffness and intermittent joint swelling. Two weeks before he had developed ulceration on his elbow and tongue. He also reported weight loss, fevers with profuse sweating, haemoptysis, nasal stuffiness, and a six month history of intermittent deafness.
On examination, he had an ulcer over his right elbow measuring 2 × 3 cm (fig 1) and two small ulcers over the left side of his tongue. The second, third, and fourth metacarpophalangeal joints of his right hand were swollen, as was his left ankle. A urine dipstick showed a trace of protein and blood.
Immunological tests showed a strongly positive classical antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody with a titre of 1/1024 and a positive proteinase 3 antibody. A swab of the skin ulcer grew staphylococcus and a