Unexplained pulmonary hypertension with pulmonary arteritis in rheumatoid disease
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The case is described of a 24-year-old woman who died after suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for eight years. During the last four months of her life there was clinical evidence of pulmonary hypertension. At necropsy the heart showed right ventricular hypertrophy but no congenital defect. Microscopic examination of the lungs disclosed evidence of hypertensive pulmonary vascular disease with medial hypertrophy and intimal fibrosis of muscular pulmonary arteries together with hypertensive changes in the pulmonary arterioles. Some of the muscular pulmonary arteries also showed fibrinoid necrosis of their media and acute arteritis. It was concluded that the fibrinoid necrosis was a minifestation of severe hypertensive pulmonary vascular disease rather than being a primary rheumatoid arteritis of the lung.
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