Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common disorder that affects the joints. RA is a systemic disease associated with relatively frequent and variable pleuropulmonary manifestations. This article reviews the common and potentially serious thoracic sequelae in terms of pleural disease, pulmonary nodules, airways disorders, and interstitial disease, as well as pulmonary side effects of antirheumatic medication. An imaging-guided approach to classification of RA-associated lung disease is outlined and the comparative values of different imaging modalities are discussed. An appreciation of current knowledge of epidemiology, pathological correlation, and prognostic implications of different RA-associated lung disease is provided. We highlight importance of considering pertinent differential diagnoses to avoid misdiagnosis, and outline common pitfalls in dealing with pleuropulmonary rheumatoid disease.
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