Idiopathic tenosynovitis with rice bodies

Vol. 61 No. 2, 2020


Mihaela Pertea, Bogdan Veliceasa, Natalia Velenciuc, Cristina Terinte, Mihaela Mitrea, Petru Ciobanu, Ovidiu Alexa, Sorinel Lunca

Purpose: Idiopathic tenosynovitis with rice bodies is a rare disease and its non-association with rheumatic diseases, tuberculosis infection or trauma is reported only in few cases in literature. Patients, Materials and Methods: Our study presents a series of five patients diagnosed with tenosynovitis with rice bodies at the flexor tendons of the upper limb. Medical history revealed no associated disease or trauma. Disease duration ranged between two months and four years, two patients presenting symptoms of acute carpal tunnel and three patients tumor mass. In one case, the tumor measured 210 mm in length and a tendon rupture was suspected. Laboratory and imaging investigations could not establish a specific associated pathology and a preoperative diagnosis. Surgical treatment consisting of synovectomy was performed in all patients. Results: In all five cases, intraoperative appearance could easily determine the presence of rice bodies. Histopathological examination revealed typical aspect for rice bodies and make the diagnosis possible without the need for other more laborious processing (immunohistochemistry). The amount of rice bodies was directly proportional to disease duration. In all cases, the recovery was complete. After a median 30.4-month follow-up, no recurrence was detected. Subsequently performed laboratory investigations and specific tests did not reveal tuberculosis infection, rheumatic disease, or other diseases. Conclusions: This is the largest series of patients with idiopathic tenosynovitis with rice bodies and the bigger tumor mass reported to date. Synovectomy with removal of all rice bodies represents the optimal treatment. A longer disease course may be associated with a larger number of rice bodies, which may be associated with tendon rupture. The etiopathogenesis remains unclear, further studies being necessary to establish it.

Corresponding author: Bogdan Veliceasa, MD, PhD; e-mail:; Mihaela Mitrea, MD, PhD; e-mail:

DOI: 10.47162/RJME.61.2.15 Download PDF
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