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Rheumatoid meningitis can present MRI findings that mimic chronic subdural haematoma
  1. Kaoru Yagita,
  2. Akiyo Shinde and
  3. Toshihiko Suenaga
  1. Department of Neurology, Tenri Hospital, Tenri, Nara, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kaoru Yagita, yagita.k{at}


A 65-year-old woman with long-standing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) experienced a recurrent tingling sensation in her left arm followed by aphasia and a tingling sensation in her right arm. A subsequent imaging study showed bilateral subdural fluid accumulation and we initially diagnosed her with a transient ischaemic attack and chronic subdural haematoma (CSDH). The cerebral spinal fluid study revealed an inflammatory response without any indications of infection or malignant tumours. After a meningeal biopsy, we redefined the diagnosis to rheumatoid meningitis (RM), and the patient showed remarkable improvement with prednisolone administration. RM should be considered as an alternative diagnosis when examining central nervous system diseases in patients with RA, as RM presents a highly variable clinical picture with image findings similar to those of CSDH.

  • neuroimaging
  • immunology
  • pathology
  • rheumatoid arthritis

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  • Contributors KY is attending doctor and corresponding author of this article. AS greatly contributed to diagnosis and treatment according to her experience of rheumatoid meningitis. TS is the director of our department and provided us with excellent leadership.

  • 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 Obtained.

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