In general, the arthritis associated with SLE is a symmetrical nonerosive polyarthritis. However, it has been recognized on occasions that patients develop a rheumatoid-like arthritis that is reminiscent of Jaccoud's arthritis. The deformities associated with this arthritis are extra-articular, producing very striking ulnar hand deviation, which is corrected by applying pressure on a flat surface. In recent years, it has been recognized that these patients have SCLE, and this type of arthritis is frequently associated with the presence of anti-Ro/SSA antibodies (Boire and Menard 1988, Cohen et al. 1986, Dubois and Tuffanelli 1964, Simmons-O'Brien et al. 1995).
Occasionally, rheumatoid nodules have been detected in patients with SLE. For example, a recent study of 50 anti-Ro/SSA antibody-positive patients with SLE detected two patients with rheumatoid nodules (Simmons-O'Brien et al. 1995).
Further studies examining patients with rheumatoid arthritis have determined that approximately 5% possess anti-Ro/SSA antibodies and in general have a deforming arthritis corresponding to Jaccoud's type (Boire et al. 1993).
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