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Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis

A 49-year-old patient with rheumatoid arthritis comes into the clinic with a chief complaint of a fever.
. Patient’s current medications include atorvastatin 40 mg at night, methotrexate 10 mg po every Friday morning and prednisone 5 mg po qam.
– He states that he has had a fever up to 101 degrees F for about a week and admits to chills and sweats.
• He says he has had more fatigue than usual and reports some chest pain associated with coughing.
-He admits to having occasional episodes of hemoptysis.
•He works as a grain inspector at a large farm cooperative.
. After extensive work-up, the patient was diagnosed with Invasive aspergillosis.
The Assignment
(1- to 2-page case study analysis-this does not include title page and reference page)
Develop a 1- to 2-page case study analysis in which you:
• Explain why you think the patient presented the symptoms described. (Not a trick question but reflective of a patient on immunosuppressive
drugs and a high-risk employment for exposure to Aspergillosis)
• Identify the genes that may be associated with the development of the disease.
Explain the process of immunosuppression and the effect it has on body systems.
Developing answers to these 3 questions, each question 1-2 paragraphs will bring you to the 2-page expected limit. 3 pages will not lose points but
learning to synthesize points. provide current references (submissions like this would earn 3 primary references) and citations will garner full credit.
By Day 7 of Week 2
Submit your Case Study Analysis Assignment by Day 7 of Week 2.
Reminder: The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references, done in APA
format Keep references current. 5 yr. from publication please and from primary references (0 references to support your points for full credit) like
classroom textbook peer-reviewed journals.

patient with rheumatoid arthritis

Title: Case Study Analysis: Invasive Aspergillosis in a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Introduction: This case study presents a 49-year-old patient with rheumatoid arthritis who presented with fever, chills, sweats, fatigue, chest pain, coughing, and hemoptysis. Upon extensive work-up, the patient was diagnosed with Invasive Aspergillosis. This analysis aims to explain the patient’s symptoms in relation to immunosuppressive therapy and occupational exposure, identify genetic factors associated with the disease, and elucidate the effects of immunosuppression on body systems.

Patient Symptoms and Immunocompromised State: The patient’s symptoms align with those commonly seen in Invasive Aspergillosis, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. Rheumatoid arthritis itself is an autoimmune disorder, and the patient is on immunosuppressive medications including methotrexate and prednisone, which further weaken the immune response. Methotrexate, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD), inhibits dihydrofolate reductase, thereby disrupting DNA synthesis in rapidly dividing cells, including immune cells. Prednisone, a corticosteroid, suppresses inflammation and immune response by inhibiting cytokine production and leukocyte migration.

Occupational Exposure and Aspergillosis Risk: The patient’s occupation as a grain inspector at a large farm cooperative places him at an increased risk of exposure to Aspergillus spores. Aspergillus is ubiquitous in the environment and commonly found in decaying organic matter such as grain, compost, and soil. Inhalation of Aspergillus spores can lead to pulmonary aspergillosis, particularly in individuals with compromised immune systems. The combination of immunosuppressive therapy and occupational exposure likely contributed to the development of Invasive Aspergillosis in this patient.

Genetic Factors Associated with Aspergillosis: Several genetic factors may predispose individuals to invasive fungal infections like Aspergillosis. Polymorphisms in genes encoding pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as toll-like receptors (TLRs) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) can impact the innate immune response to fungal pathogens. Genetic variations in cytokines and chemokines involved in immune regulation, such as interleukin (IL)-10 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, may also influence susceptibility to fungal infections. Additionally, certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles have been associated with increased risk of fungal diseases.

Immunosuppression and Body Systems: Immunosuppression disrupts the normal functioning of various body systems, leaving individuals vulnerable to infections. The immune system plays a crucial role in defending against pathogens through innate and adaptive responses. Innate immune cells such as neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells recognize and eliminate pathogens through phagocytosis, cytokine secretion, and antigen presentation. Adaptive immunity involves T and B lymphocytes that produce specific immune responses against pathogens. Immunosuppressive drugs target different components of the immune system, impairing both innate and adaptive responses and increasing susceptibility to infections, particularly opportunistic pathogens like Aspergillus.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the patient’s symptoms of fever, fatigue, chest pain, coughing, and hemoptysis can be attributed to Invasive Aspergillosis, exacerbated by immunosuppressive therapy and occupational exposure. Genetic factors may also contribute to susceptibility to fungal infections. Understanding the interplay between immunosuppression, occupational risk factors, and genetic predisposition is crucial in managing patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders to prevent opportunistic infections like Aspergillosis.


  1. Kousha M, Tadi R, Soubani AO. Pulmonary aspergillosis: a clinical review. Eur Respir Rev. 2011;20(121):156-174.
  2. Lionakis MS, Kontoyiannis DP. Glucocorticoids and invasive fungal infections. The Lancet. 2003;362(9398):1828-1838.
  3. Cunha C, Aversa F, Lacerda JF, et al. Genetic PTX3 deficiency and aspergillosis in stem-cell transplantation. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;370(5):421-432.

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