Fatal sepsis in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis treated with etanercept

Mercedeh Bachai, Douglas R. Osmon, Donna M. Wolk, Lester E. Wold, George J. Haidukewych, Eric L. Matteson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Patients with long-standing, severe, erosive rheumatoid arthritis who have extra-articular manifestations and have undergone joint replacement surgery are at increased risk for serious infection and premature mortality. New therapies, including cytokine antagonists, hold great promise for improving the course of rheumatoid arthritis. However, they have powerful anti-inflammatory effects that may mask symptoms of serious infection. We report a case of fatal pneumococcal sepsis occurring in a 37-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis treated with the tumor necrosis factor antagonist etanercept and suggest management strategies for early detection and management of this complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-656
Number of pages4
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • DMARD = disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
  • NSAID = nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • RA = rheumatoid arthritis
  • WBC = white blood cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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