Main AHCA Website

AHCA’s main website for information on Medicaid, Health Quality Assurance and the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis.

Go >

Florida Health Information Network

This website provides information and resources relating to AHCA’s initiatives for Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange.

Go >


FloridaHealthFinder.gov

Provides health education and information to compare and locate health care providers in Florida to make well-informed health care decisions.

Go >
AHCA Network of Websites

Health Education


Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Felty syndrome

Definition

Felty syndrome is a disorder that involves rheumatoid arthritis, a swollen spleen, decreased white blood cell count, and repeated infections. It is rare.

Alternative Names

Seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA); Felty's syndrome

Causes

The cause of Felty syndrome is unknown. It is more common in people who have had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for a long time. People with this syndrome are at risk for infection because they have a low white blood cell count.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • General feeling of discomfort (malaise)
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Pale-looking skin
  • Joint swelling, stiffness, pain, and deformity
  • Recurrent infections
  • Eye burning or discharge

Exams and Tests

A physical exam will show:

  • Swollen spleen
  • Joints that show signs of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Possibly swollen liver and lymph nodes

A complete blood count (CBC) may show a lower number of white blood cells called neutrophils.

An abdominal ultrasound may confirm a swollen spleen.

Treatment

In most cases, people who have this syndrome are not getting full treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. They may need other medicines to suppress their immune system and reduce the activity of their RA.

Methotrexate may improve the low white blood cell count.

Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) may raise the neutrophil count.

Some people benefit from removal of the spleen (splenectomy).

Outlook (Prognosis)

Without treatment, infections may continue to occur.

RA is likely to get worse.

Possible Complications

You may have infections that keep coming back.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms of this disorder.

Prevention

Prompt treatment of RA with currently available medicines decreases the risk of developing Felty syndrome.

References

Starkebaum G. Use of colony-stimulating factors in the treatment of neutropenia associated with collagen vascular disease. Curr Opin Hematol. 1997;4(3):196-9. PMID: 9209836 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9209836.

Sweeney SE, Harris ED, Firestein GS. Clinical features of rheumatoid arthritis. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, McInnes IB, O'Dell JR, eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 70.

Review Date:4/28/2015
Reviewed By:Gordon A. Starkebaum, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Images

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No

2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No