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Mayo Clin Proc. 2007 Dec;82(12):1510-5.

Remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting edema syndrome in a rural tertiary care practice: a retrospective analysis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, 100 N Academy Ave, Danville, PA 17822, USA.



To review the clinical and laboratory features of remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting edema (RS3PE) in a rural tertiary care rheumatology practice, describe treatments and outcomes, and compare our results to previous reports in the literature.


We performed a retrospective chart review of all patients diagnosed as having RS3PE who were seen in the Department of Rheumatology at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA, from January 1, 1992, to December 31, 2005.


We identified 12 men and 2 women, all of whom were white. Mean +/- SD age was 74.0 +/- 6.6 years; mean +/- SD erythrocyte sedimentation rate was 35.9 +/- 21.1 mm/h at presentation. Onset of illness was sudden in 9 patients and insidious in 5. All patients were initially treated with prednisone (15-20 mg/d). Although the response in all was excellent, 9 patients received disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, either because of ongoing disease activity or in an effort to decrease the use of corticosteroids. Hydroxychloroquine was used alone in 7 patients. At the mean +/- SD time of last follow-up (31.4 +/- 23.1 months), 5 patients continued to receive therapy. Complications of treatment included worsening of preexisting hypertension in 3 patients, gastritis in 2, and exacerbation of preexisting diabetes mellitus in 1. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurred in 6 patients. Duration of therapy ranged from 5 to 120 months (mean, 29 months). Three patients developed malignancies, ie, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder, and prostate carcinoma.


Our population of patients with RS3PE is similar to those documented in previous reports: elderly, predominantly male, and responsive to corticosteroids. However, our series is clinically differentiated by a greater use of adjunctive disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (primarily hydroxychloroquine). Confirming previous reports, we also observed a possible association between RS3PE and malignancy.

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