March 1, 2017
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Felty's Syndrome

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Felty's syndrome facts

  • Felty's syndrome is a complication of long-standing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Patients with Felty's syndrome can have more infections than the average person and can develop leg ulcers.
  • The cause of Felty's syndrome is not known.
  • Felty's syndrome is diagnosed by the presence of three conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, an enlarged spleen, and an abnormally low white blood count.
  • Treatment of Felty's syndrome is not always required, but medications are used for serious manifestations.

What is Felty's syndrome?

Felty's syndrome is a complication of long-standing rheumatoid arthritis. Felty's syndrome is defined by the presence of three conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), and an abnormally low white blood cell count. Felty's syndrome is uncommon. It affects less than 1% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

What causes Felty's syndrome?

The cause of Felty's syndrome is not known. Some patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop Felty's syndrome, but most do not. White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. There seems to be an active bone marrow function in patients with Felty's syndrome, producing white cells, despite the low numbers of circulating white blood cells (neutropenia). White cells may be stored excessively in the spleen of a patient with Felty's syndrome. This is especially true in patients with Felty's syndrome that have antibodies against the particular type of white blood cells usually affected (cells called granulocytes or neutrophils).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/17/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/feltys_syndrome/article.htm

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