the RF is one of those things that confuses Dr.s & pts alike. it's just an antibody saying "somethin's going on immune-wise".
it can show up in all of those conditions because it can be a false positive.
in the instance of a TB case being mistaken for RA? it would happen kinda like this:
(well you already know that TB is a type of pneumonia caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis...and any bacteria in the body, left untreated for longer than it should...will result in an arthritis)
here's a rare scenario: extrapulmonary TB happens to a person when the TB bacilli is SWALLOWED! goes through the GI tract, (small intestines), GU tract, skin, liver, Joints, bones. however, this is usually seen in HIV pt.s (but...us being on massive immunosuppressants puts us in the same category: open to oportunistic infections like HIV/AIDS pts.)
joint pain, fatigue, weight loss, pleurisy, pleuritis, fevers, low grade fevers, enlarged lymph nodes...these go for RA and TB...and a hundred other illnesses. so everybody's confused until meds start & you see if you respond to them.
also, we can't forget a Reactive Arthritis from an infection too...oh yeah keep on adding to the fun. i mean, sure...being treated for RA (or any inflammatory arthritis) WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A BAD MOVE. you respond well to some meds for infl. arth. so that's a good thing. who knows...it could be both a case of RA and a reactivated TB! it's possible.
i forget...but was there ever an early morning sputum culture taken?
i'm just throwing you some cases that i have worked on. and pretty much everything i know...(i think i'm tapped dry now! lol).
don't be surprised if the joints improve further once AX treatment starts too!
if i think of anything else i'll let ya know.
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections when needed; Mercaptopurine 50mgQD plus 75mg weekly; Mesalamine 4GramsQD; Prednisone 10mgQD mantainance; Entocort 9mgQD; Meclizine; Augmentin; Tigan 300mg; Reglan; LidoDerm Patches; Diazepam 5mg for AS back spasms; Rozerem 8mg; Dilaudid 4mg tabs for pain.