Hoarseness May Be Related To Rheumatoid Arthritis
Up to 30% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis may develop hoarseness. In most cases, this is not dangereous and is due to the arthritis involvement of the cricoarytenoid joints. Because these joints rotate with the vocal cords, they can affect the pitch and tone of the voice.
Should You See A Specialist?
In addition, they can uncommonly affect breathing if the joints become immobilized. If hoarseness is chronic, evaluation by an ENT (ear-nose-throat specialist) is worthwhile to help confirm that the problem is related to rheumatoid arthritis and not due to other causes. This is especially important for smokers.
Read More About Cricoarytenoid Joint
Source: Edward Harris MD Textbook of Rheumatology
Answers provided by Scott J. Zashin, M.D., clinical assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Division of Rheumatology, in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Zashin is also an attending physician at Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Plano. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology and a member of the American Medical Association. Dr. Zashin is author of Arthritis Without Pain - The Miracle of Anti-TNF Blockers. The book is useful for anyone on one of the biologic drugs (Enbrel, Remicade, Humira) or considering the biologic drugs. Read our review of the book.