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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Palindromic rheumatism


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Hench's syndrome
  • Hench-Rosenberg syndrome
  • Palindromic rheumatism syndrome
  • Recurrent episodes of pain, swelling, warmth and stiffness of joints
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Palindromic rheumatism (PR) is characterized by sudden, multiple, and recurring attacks of joint pain and swelling, typically in the hands and feet. Each episode may last from several hours to several days. The frequency of attacks also varies, from one episode a day to several during the course of a year. Between attacks, the symptoms disappear and the affected joints appear normal on x-ray exams.[1][2] The cause of palindromic rheumatism is unknown, although a possible allergic origin has been suggested. There may also be a clinical association between antiphospholipid syndrome and palindromic rheumatism.[1] Some individuals with palindromic rheumatism develop chronic joint inflammation and go on to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for acute attacks and antimalarials, which have been helpful in reducing the frequency and duration of attacks and may reduce to likelihood that palindromic rheumatism will progress to rheumatoid arthritis.[1][2]
Last updated: 10/3/2013


  1. Iyer VR, Cohen GL. Palindromic Rheumatism. South Med J. 2011; Accessed 10/3/2013.
  2. Chang-Miller A. Palindromic rheumatism: Does it cause joint pain?. May 14, 2011; Accessed 10/3/2013.
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