To determine if ultrasound (US) of selected joints in the hands and feet can detect more erosions than radiography and establish the presence of erosive disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Eighty joints in ten patients with RA and 40 joints in five healthy control subjects, who were age, gender and ethnicity-matched to the patients with arthritis, were prospectively studied with radiographs and sonography. Conventional radiographs of the hands and feet were obtained. US examinations of the 2nd and 5th metacarpal-phalangeal (MCP) joints of the hands, and the 1st and 5th metatarsal-phalangeal (MTP) joints of the feet were performed. Radiographs and US exams were independently graded for the presence of erosions.
None of the control subjects had erosions. US detected erosions in 17/80, and radiographs detected erosions in 6/80 joints assessed with both modalities. US detected all erosions seen by radiographs in these selected joints. Erosive disease was present in the radiographs of seven of ten RA patients. US established erosive disease in eight of ten RA patients. US determined erosive disease in two of the three patients without radiographic erosions.
US of the MTP and MCP joints in RA can detect erosions not seen with radiography and may be complementary to radiography in establishing the presence of erosive disease in early RA.
"Most of the erosions detected by US cannot be visualized by conventional radiography unless they progress to radiographically evident severe bone lesions, which occur within a period of one to two years. Indeed, US can detect up to seven times more erosions than plain radiography in early RA [32,33]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and IL-6 genes (respectively, 869C/T and -174G/C) have been associated with radiographic severity of bone-erosive damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) is more sensitive than radiography in detecting bone erosion. We analyzed the association between TGF-β 869C/T and IL-6 -174G/C SNPs and bone-erosive damage, evaluated by US, in a cohort of patients with severely active RA.
Seventy-seven patients were enrolled before beginning anti-TNF treatment. Disease activity was measured using the disease activity score in 28 joints, and the clinical response was evaluated according to the European League Against Rheumatism response criteria. Rheumatoid factor (RF) and anticitrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPAs) were detected. The 869C/T TGF-β and -174G/C IL-6 SNPs were analyzed by PCR amplification. US was performed to assess the bone surfaces of metacarpophalengeal (MCP), proximal interphalangeal (PIP) and metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joints by obtaining multiplanar scans. According to the number of erosions per joint, a semiquantitative score ranging from 0 to 3 was calculated in each anatomical site to obtain a MCP total erosion score (TES), a PIP TES and a MTP TES, all ranging from 0 to 30, and a global patient TES calculated as the sum of these scores (range, 0 to 90).
Patients carrying the TGF-β 869TT genotype showed a statistically significant lower MTP TES than those with the CC or CT genotype (mean MTP TES ± standard deviation for 869TT 6.3 ± 5.7 vs. 869CC/CT 11.7 ± 7.8; P = 0.011). Interestingly, patients with the TT genotype showed dichotomous behavior that was dependent on autoantibody status. In the presence of ACPAs and/or RF, the TT genotype was associated with lower erosion scores at all anatomical sites compared with the CC and CT genotypes. Conversely, the same 869TT patients showed higher erosion scores in the absence of ACPAs or RF.
In RA patients, TGF-β 869C/T SNPs could influence the bone-erosive damage as evaluated by US. The serological autoantibody status (ACPAs and RF) can modulate this interaction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most frequent inflammatory rheumatic disease. At the beginning of the disease, when the therapeutic possibilities are largest, the diagnostic methods often do not permit a definite diagnosis or a differentiated estimation of the prognosis. The introduction of new diagnostic concepts for early RA, the development of new specific serum markers, such as the cyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti-CCP) and providing diagnostic procedures and techniques such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging have improved the early diagnosis of RA. Minimal invasive miniarthroscopy furnishes, besides the direct evaluation of the joint, access to the pathomorphologic substrate of early RA itself with the opportunity of tissue sampling and further molecular biological analysis. These new diagnostic techniques open up a widespread goal for rheumatologists in terms of etiopathogenesis, early diagnosis and monitoring of the disease course of RA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic and progressive inflammatory disorder of the synovium characterised by destruction of bone and cartilage. It is associated with significant morbidity and economic costs. Recent advances have shown that early diagnosis and timely, intensive therapy of rheumatoid arthritis can modify disease outcomes.
Current investigations into the role of ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging in early rheumatoid arthritis suggest these modalities will provide information to assist in the early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, identify poor prognostic factors, and aid in the monitoring of response to therapy. New developments in pharmacologic therapy, particularly the development of biologic agents, allow better disease control than was previously achievable, and the early application of these drugs in combination with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs seems to produce the best outcomes.
The application of novel imaging techniques will aid the target application of biologic therapy within the window of opportunity and aid in the monitoring of response to therapy. This is likely to significantly decrease the rate of structural damage and offers hope of a future when the normal outcome for rheumatoid arthritis will be remission.
Current Opinion in Rheumatology 06/2005; 17(3):280-5. DOI:10.1097/01.bor.0000160779.05389.95 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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