[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives- The purpose of this study was to establish standards for musculoskeletal ultrasound competency through knowledge and skills testing using criterion-referenced methods. Methods- Two groups of rheumatology fellows trained in musculoskeletal ultrasound through a standardized curriculum, which required submission of ultrasound studies for review over 8 months. Both groups then completed written and practical examinations in musculoskeletal ultrasound. Instructors, advanced users, and intermediate users of musculoskeletal ultrasound served as comparison groups. A passing score (competency) was established for the written examination by the Angoff procedure and for the practical examination by the borderline method. Results- Thirty-eight fellows (19 in each group) took the final examination. Five fellows failed the written examination, and 1 failed the practical examination, whereas none of the advanced users failed. Written examination scores did not differ between the two fellow groups (74% versus 70%; P > .05), were reliable, and were able to discriminate between the intermediate and advanced groups. Practical and written examination results correlated in both groups (first group, r = 0.70; P = .0008; second group, r = 0.59; P = .009). Conclusions- Criterion-referenced methods were used for the first time to determine fellow musculoskeletal ultrasound competency. The examination used to determine competency was reproducible, was reliable, and could differentiate musculoskeletal ultrasound users with different levels of experience. Most rheumatology fellows completing our program passed the written and practical examinations, suggesting achievement of basic musculoskeletal ultrasound competency.
Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 10/2013; 32(10):1735-43. DOI:10.7863/ultra.32.10.1735 · 1.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To accomplish successful ultrasound-guided interventions for the management of pain in the hip region, a thorough understanding of the essential anatomy of the hip joint and adjacent structures is required. This is also the basis for the acquisition of high-quality dynamic real-time sonoanatomical images. This review article addresses the anatomy, sonoanatomy, and ultrasound-guided interventional approach to 3 key structures in this region—the intra-articular hip, the femoral nerve, and the obturator nerve—using important anatomical landmarks.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To compare the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) assessed with automated radiofrequency-based US in RA patients treated with synthetic vs synthetic and biologic DMARDs and controls.Methods. Ninety-four RA patients and 94 sex- and age-matched controls were prospectively recruited at seven centres. Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and co-morbidities, RA characteristics and therapy were recorded. Common carotid artery (CCA)-IMT was assessed in RA patients and controls with automated radiofrequency-based US by the same investigator at each centre.Results. Forty-five (47.9%) RA patients had been treated with synthetic DMARDs and 49 (52.1%) with synthetic and biologic DMARDs. There were no significant differences between the RA patients and controls in demographics, CV co-morbidities and CV disease. There were significantly more smokers among RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs (P = 0.036). Disease duration and duration of CS and synthetic DMARD therapy was significantly longer in RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs (P < 0.0005). The mean CCA-IMT was significantly greater in RA patients treated only with synthetic DMARDs than in controls [591.4 (98.6) vs 562.1 (85.8); P = 0.035] and in RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs [591.4 (98.6) vs 558.8 (95.3); P = 0.040). There was no significant difference between the mean CCA-IMT in RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs and controls (P = 0.997).Conclusion. Our results suggest that radiofrequency-based measurement of CCA-IMT can discriminate between RA patients treated with synthetic DMARDs vs RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To produce consensus-based scoring systems for ultrasound (US) tenosynovitis and to assess the intraobserver and interobserver reliability of these scoring systems in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: We undertook a Delphi process on US-defined tenosynovitis and US scoring system of tenosynovitis in RA among 35 rheumatologists, experts in musculoskeletal US (MSUS), from 16 countries. Then, we assessed the intraobserver and interobserver reliability of US in scoring tenosynovitis on B-mode and with a power Doppler (PD) technique. Ten patients with RA with symptoms in the hands or feet were recruited. Ten rheumatologists expert in MSUS blindly, independently and consecutively scored for tenosynovitis in B-mode and PD mode three wrist extensor compartments, two finger flexor tendons and two ankle tendons of each patient in two rounds in a blinded fashion. Intraobserver reliability was assessed by Cohen's κ. Interobserver reliability was assessed by Light's κ. Weighted κ coefficients with absolute weighting were computed for B-mode and PD signal. RESULTS: Four-grade semiquantitative scoring systems were agreed upon for scoring tenosynovitis in B-mode and for scoring pathological peritendinous Doppler signal within the synovial sheath. The intraobserver reliability for tenosynovitis scoring on B-mode and PD mode was good (κ value 0.72 for B-mode; κ value 0.78 for PD mode). Interobserver reliability assessment showed good κ values for PD tenosynovitis scoring (first round, 0.64; second round, 0.65) and moderate κ values for B-mode tenosynovitis scoring (first round, 0.47; second round, 0.45). CONCLUSIONS: US appears to be a reproducible tool for evaluating and monitoring tenosynovitis in RA.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 09/2012; 72(8). DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202092 · 10.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the intra- and interobserver reliability of musculoskeletal ultrasonography (US) in detecting inflammatory and destructive tendon abnormalities in patients with RA using two different scanning methods.
Thirteen observers examined nine patients with RA and one healthy individual in two rounds independently and blindly of each other. Each round consisted of two consecutive examinations, an anatomy-based examination and a free examination according to personal preferences. The following tendons were evaluated: wrist extensor compartments 2, 4 and 6, finger flexor tendons 3 and 4 at MCP level, tibialis posterior tendon and both peronei tendons. Overall, positive and negative agreements and κ-values for greyscale (GS) tenosynovitis, peritendinous power Doppler (PPD) signal, intratendinous power Doppler (IPD) signal and GS tendon damage were calculated.
Intraobserver κ-value ranges were 0.53-0.55 (P < 0.0005) for GS tenosynovitis, 0.61-0.64 (P < 0.0005) for PPD signal, 0.65-0.66 (P < 0.0005) for IPD signal and 0.44-0.53 (P < 0.0005) for GS tendon damage. For interobserver reliability, substantial overall agreement ranged from 80 to 89% for GS tenosynovitis, 97 to 100% for PPD signal, 97 to 100% for IPD signal and 97 to 100% for GS tendon damage. Results were independent of scanning technique.
Intraobserver reliability for tenosynovitis and tendon damage varied from moderate for GS to good for PD. Overall interobserver reliability for tenosynovitis and tendon damage was excellent both for GS and PD. This qualitative scoring system may serve as the first step to a semi-quantitative score for tendon pathology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the reliability of the automated radio frequency (RF)-based US measurement of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) performed by rheumatologists and to evaluate the variability between this method and the conventional B-mode US measurement of carotid IMT in RA patients.
Twelve rheumatologists measured in two blinded rounds the IMT of both common carotid arteries (CCAs) of seven RA patients with an automated RF-based method. At each round, a cardiologist measured both CCA-IMTs of the patients using an automated B-mode method. Inter-observer reliability for RF-based IMT measurements was evaluated by the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Intra-observer reliability for RF-based IMT measurements was assessed using the root mean square coefficient of variation (RMS-CV), Bland-Altman method and ICC. Agreement between the two US methods was evaluated by the Bland-Altman method, ICC and RMS-CV.
Inter-observer ICCs for the RF-based CCA-IMT measurements were 0.85 (95% CI 0.69, 0.94) for the first round, and 0.77 (95% CI 0.55, 0.91) for the second round. RMS-CVs for the RF-based CCA-IMT measurements varied from 5.6 to 11.7%. The mean intra-observer ICC for the RF-based CCA-IMT measurements was 0.61 (95% CI 0.46, 0.71). In the Bland-Altman analysis for agreement between RF-based and B-mode CCA-IMT measurements, the mean difference varied from -0.6 to -19.7 μm. Inter-method ICCs varied from 0.57 to 0.83 for 11 rheumatologists. Inter-method RMS-CVs varied from 11.3 to 13.7%.
Our results suggest that automated RF-based CCA-IMT measurement performed by rheumatologists can be a reliable method for assessing cardiovascular risk in RA patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review addresses the use of ultrasound (US) as an imaging technique for the evaluation and monitoring of the osteoarthritic joint. US complements both the clinical examination and radiological imaging by allowing the rheumatologist to recognize not only the bony profile but also to visualize the soft tissues. Systematic US scanning following established guidelines can demonstrate even minimal abnormalities of articular cartilage, bony cortex and synovial tissue. US is also extremely sensitive in the detection of soft tissue changes in the involved joints including the proliferation of the synovium and changes in the amount of fluid present within the joint. Monitoring the amount of fluid in the hip and knee joint with osteoarthritis may be a potentially useful finding in the selection of patients for clinical investigation and for assessing their response to therapeutic interventions.