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Rheumatoid meningitis: a rare cause of unilateral pachymeningitis
  1. Daniel Grose1,
  2. Matthew Linger1,
  3. Samara Tinni1 and
  4. Ramesh Sahathevan1,2
  1. 1 Internal Medicine Services, Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ramesh Sahathevan, Ramesh.Sahathevan{at}


An 87-year-old woman with quiescent rheumatoid arthritis, not on immunosuppressive therapy, presented with unilateral arm weakness, confusion and visual hallucinations. There were no infective symptoms or history of malignancy. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis demonstrated lymphocytosis and raised protein, without flow cytometric or cytological abnormalities. Viral, bacterial, mycobacterial and fungal testing of CSF and serum were negative. MRI brain indicated unilateral leptomeningeal enhancement. There was no evidence of occult malignancy on CT imaging of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Rheumatoid factor and anticyclic citrullinated peptide were strongly positive. The patient declined meningeal biopsy but responded to treatment with corticosteroid therapy.

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neurology
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  • Contributors DG: wrote the draft manuscript. ML, ST and RS: provided feedback and edited the submission. All authors have read and approved the final draft.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.

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