What is the outlook for palindromic rheumatism?
Palindromic rheumatism varies a great deal from person to person so it's impossible to predict what to expect. In the longer term:
- about 10–15% of people find their symptoms completely disappear
- 30–50% have only occasional attacks.
- 30–40% have greater problems.
Some people who fall into this final group may later develop rheumatoid arthritis. This is particularly likely in people whose blood tests show rheumatoid factor or anti-CCP, which are positive in rheumatoid arthritis. It's very important to note, however, that not everyone with palindromic rheumatism who is positive for these antibodies will develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Very rarely, a small number of people develop lupus. This is more likely in people whose blood tests show anti-nuclear antibodies, which are present in lupus.
Attacks of palindromic rheumatism don’t damage your joints, but damage may occur in people who go on to develop rheumatoid arthritis.