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Definition Return to top
Felty syndrome is a rare disorder that involves rheumatoid arthritis, a swollen spleen, decreased white blood cell count, and repeated infections.
Causes Return to top
The cause of Felty syndrome is unknown. It is more common in people who have had rheumatoid arthritis for a long time. People with this syndrome are at risk of infection because they have a low white blood cell count.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
A physical examination will show:
A complete blood count ( CBC) may show decreased number of white blood cells called neutrophils.
An abdominal ultrasound may confirm a swollen spleen.
Treatment Return to top
Persons with this syndrome are usually already receiving treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. They may need other medicines to suppress their immune system.
Some people benefit from removal of the spleen (splenectomy).
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Rheumatoid arthritis is likely to get worse.
Possible Complications Return to top
You may have infections that keep returning.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you develop symptoms of this disorder.
Prevention Return to top
There is no known prevention.
References Return to top
Pinals RS. Felty's syndrome. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Harris Jr. ED, McInnes IB, Ruddy S, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2008: chap 68.Update Date: 5/31/2009 Updated by: Mark James Borigini, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.