Felty's syndrome

What causes Felty's syndrome?

The exact cause of Felty's syndrome is unknown, although several causes and risk factors have been proposed. Some experts believe it may be an autoimmune disorder, and that it may sometimes be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Other proposed risk factors have included:

  • RF (rheumatoid factor) positivity - being positive for a test used to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis
  • Long-term rheumatoid arthritis
  • Aggressive and erosive synovitis (inflammation of the tissue that lines the joints)
  • HLA-DR4 positivity (having a specific gene for the immune system that is associated with RA) and DR4 homozygosity (having 2 identical copies of this gene)
  • Extra-articular RA manifestations (symptoms that are not joint-related)

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is Felty's syndrome inherited?

It has not been concluded that Felty's syndrome is an inherited condition; most individuals with Felty's syndrome have not had a history of the condition in their family. However, there have been a few reports of the condition appearing to be familial. Furthermore, although the condition itself may not be inherited, some of the risk factors associated with Felty's syndrome may have genetic components. One study found that a family history of rheumatoid arthritis was more common in patients with Felty's syndrome and that there was a strong association with HLA-DR4 (an immune system gene common in individuals with RA). The authors also stated that there was an increased frequency of another gene as well, suggesting that certain other immune system genes may interact with HLA-DR4 and contribute to individuals developing Felty's syndrome.

In another report, the authors described a family in which 3 siblings had Felty's syndrome. All of the siblings shared a specific haplotype (a group of immune system genes that may be inherited together). The authors stated that they believe this supports the theory that multiple genetic factors are involved in family members being predisposed to Felty's syndrome.

An earlier article described a family in which the mother and 2 of her 5 children had Felty's syndrome, which suggested autosomal dominant inheritance (which has not otherwise been reported).

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: Arthritis Foundation 1355 Peachtree St. NE 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA, 30309, United States
Phone: +1-404-872-7100 Toll Free: 1-844-571-HELP (4357) Url: https://www.arthritis.org
Name: The Arthritis Society 393 University Avenue, Suite 1700 Toronto, Ontario M5G 1E6
Phone: +1-416-979-7228 Toll Free: 1-800-321-1433 Fax : +1-416-979-8366 Email: info@arthritis.ca Url: https://arthritis.ca/
Name: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) 22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI, 48021, United States
Phone: 586-776-3900 Toll Free: 800-598-4668 Fax : 586-776-3903 Email: aarda@aarda.org Url: https://www.aarda.org/
Name: National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society NRAS Ground Floor 4 Switchback Office Park
Gardner Road
Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 7RJ, United Kingdom
Phone: 0845 458 3969 / 01628 823524 Fax : 0845 458 3971 (fax) Email: helpline@nras.org.uk Url: https://www.nras.org.uk <a href="https://www.nras.org.uk/felty-s-syndrome">Webpage on Felty syndrome</a>

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The RareGuru disease database is regularly updated using data generously provided by GARD, the United States Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center.

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