Clinical characteristics of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and methotrexate induced pneumonitis

Yasuo Ohosone, Yutaka Okano, Hideto Kameda, Takao Fujii, Nobuaki Hama, Michito Hirakata, Tsuneyo Mimori, Masashi Akizuki, Yasuo Ikeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To determine the clinical features of methotrexate (MTX) pneumonitis in patients treated for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. The medical records of 284 patients with RA who had been treated with oral MTX (mean followup 33.2 mo) were reviewed retrospectively. Results. MTX induced interstitial pneumonitis developed in 6 patients (2.1%). The affected patients were significantly older than those without MTX pneumonitis (67.3 9.8 vs 52.4 12.6 yrs, respectively; p < 0.005). The cumulative MTX dose ranged from 65 to 580 mg at the time pneumonitis developed. Five of the patients (83%) had preexisting interstitial abnormalities, while only 29 of the 278 patients without MTX pneumonitis (10%) had such abnormalities (p < 0.001). The frequency of adverse effects due to previous treatment with disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) was 66.7% in MTX pneumonitis patients and 14.3% in the other 278 patients (p < 0.01). Conclusion. Advanced age, preexisting interstitial abnormalities, and previous adverse reactions to DMARD may be associated with MTX pneumonitis. Patients with these characteristics require careful monitoring during MTX therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2299-2303
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Dec 1


  • Methotrexate
  • Pneumonitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical characteristics of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and methotrexate induced pneumonitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this