Conjunctival nodule in rheumatoid arthritis

Ahmad Kheirkhah, Fahimeh Asadi Amoli, Amir A. Azari, Saber Molaei, Mehdi Roozbahani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Conjunctival nodule is very rarely seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Previously reported cases were associated with the use of methotrexate. Here, we report a conjunctival rheumatoid nodule without such prior treatment. A 49-year-old woman with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, who was being treated only with oral steroids and hydroxychloroquine, developed diffuse anterior scleritis in the right eye. In addition, examination showed a focal raised yellow/tan conjunctival nodule. The nodule was within the bulbar conjunctiva with no attachments to the underlying tissue, which is different from nodular scleritis. The nodule was not tender on palpation. The patient underwent excisional biopsy of the nodule. Intraoperatively, the lesion was noted to be a firm nodule within substantia propria of the conjunctiva. Hematoxylin-eosin staining of the specimen revealed a central area of necrosis surrounded by palisades of histiocytes. Increased dosage of oral steroid after the biopsy resulted in resolution of the ocular symptoms and signs. In conclusion, rheumatoid nodules may be seen in the conjunctiva even without prior treatment with methotrexate. These nodules may show the severity of the underlying disease and the need for more aggressive treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-83
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Conjunctival nodule
  • Methotrexate
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rheumatoid nodule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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