Ultrasound detection of bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis: a comparison to routine radiographs of the hands and feet.
ABSTRACT 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.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this article was to review the current status of ultrasound imaging of patients with rheumatological disorders of the hands and feet. Ultrasound machines with high-resolution surface probes are readily available in most radiology departments and can be used to address important clinical questions posed by the rheumatologist and sports and rehabilitation physician. There is increasing evidence that ultrasound detects synovitis that is silent to clinical examination. Detection and classification of synovitis and the early detection of bone erosions are important in clinical decision making. Ultrasound has many advantages over other imaging techniques with which it is compared, particularly magnetic resonance. The ability to carry out a rapid assessment of many widely spaced joints, coupled with clinical correlation, the ability to move and stress musculoskeletal structures and the use of ultrasound to guide therapy accurately are principal amongst these. The use of colour flow Doppler studies provides a measure of neovascularisation within the synovial lining of joints and tendons, and within tendons themselves, that is not available with other imaging techniques. Disadvantages compared to MRI include small field of view, poor image presentation, and difficulty in demonstrating cartilage and deep joints in their entirety. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance provides a better measure of capillary permeability and extracellular fluid than does ultrasound. The ability to image simultaneously multiple small joints in the hands and feet and their enhancement characteristics cannot be matched with ultrasound, though future developments in 3-D ultrasound may narrow this gap. Magnetic resonance provides a more uniform and reproducible image for long-term follow-up studies.Skeletal Radiology 03/2008; 37(2):99-113. · 1.54 Impact Factor
Article: The development of a preliminary ultrasonographic scoring system for features of hand osteoarthritis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Painful osteoarthritis (OA) of the hand is common and a validated ultrasound (US) scoring system would be valuable for epidemiological and therapeutic outcome studies. US is increasingly used to assess peripheral joints, though most of the US focus in rheumatic diseases has been on rheumatoid arthritis. We aimed to develop a preliminary US hand OA scoring system, initially focusing on relevant pathological features with potentially high reliability. A group of experts in the fields of OA, US and novel tool development agreed on domains and suggested scaling of the items to be used in US hand OA scoring systems. A multi-observer reliability exercise was then performed to evaluate the draft items. Synovitis (grey scale and Power Doppler) and osteophytes (representing activity and damage domains) were included and evaluated as the initial components of the scoring system. All three features were evaluated for their presence/absence and if present were scored using a 1-3 scale. The reliability exercise demonstrated intra-reader kappa values of 0.444-1.0, 0.211-1.0 and 0.087-1.0 for grey scale synovitis, power Doppler and osteophytes respectively. Inter-reader reliability kappa values were 0.398, 0.327 and 0.530 grey-scale synovitis, power Doppler and osteophytes respectively. Without extensive standardisation, both intra- and inter-reader reliability were moderately good. The draft scoring system demonstrated substantive to almost perfect percentage exact agreement on the presence/absence of the selected OA features and moderate to substantive percentage exact agreement on semi-quantitative grading. This preliminary process provides a good basis from which to further develop an US outcome tool for hand OA that has the potential to be utilised in multicentre clinical trials.Annals of the rheumatic diseases 06/2008; 67(5):651-5. · 8.11 Impact Factor