...less medical jargon in a 'Quick Glance' format!
Feltys Syndrome is a complication of long-standing rheumatoid arthritis. Felty's syndrome is defined by the presence of three conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, an enlarged spleen, and an abnormally low white blood count. Felty's syndrome is uncommon. It affects less than 1% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
General feeling of discomfort
Loss of appetite
Unintentional weight loss
Joint swelling, stiffness, pain, & deformity
Eye burning or discharge
The cause of Felty's syndrome is not known. Some patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop Felty's syndrome but most do not. White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. There seems to be an active bone marrow function in patients with Felty's syndrome, producing white cells, despite the low numbers of circulating white blood cells. White cells may be stored excessively in the spleen of a patient with Felty's syndrome. This is especially true in patients with Felty's syndrome that have antibodies against the particular type of white blood cells usually affected.
Treatment may not be required in all cases. If treatment is needed medications are prescribed for recurring infections. Weekly injections of granulocyte stimulating factor or GSF may also be used. Spleen removal may be necessary to avoid sudden rupture. Annual flu shots, washing hands frequently and proper wound maintenance may help reduce the number of infections. It is possible for spontaneous remission to occur.