Background The US is an imaging method that is becoming a sensitive tool and useful in the detection and follow-up of inflammatory activity and structural damage of joints in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Objectives To compare two different scores for ultrasound examination to shorten the time and feasibility.
Methods Thirty-two patients with RA, fulfilling ACR criteria1987 were examined by GE LOGIQ XP-linear ultrasound (US) and high frequency transducer for gray scale (GS) and power Doppler (PD) with a semi-quantitative (0 to 3) score of 7 joints of the clinically dominant hand and foot: wrist, second and third metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal, and second and fifth metatarsophalangeal joints, as previously related (Backhaus,Arthritis & Rheumatism 2009) (Mendonça JA, Thesis 2011). Spearman’s correlation test was used for comparison of nonparametric variables and considered significant at the 0.05 to test the hypothesis that hands examination (5 joints), excluded feet, could have a good correlation with score 7 joints.
Results This study evaluated 832 joints of 32 RA patients (75% women) in Campinas (UNICAMP), mean duration disease of 13 months, mean age of 42 years. The 5 joints score had high correlation coefficient in GS 0.997 (p<0.001) and in PD 1.0 (p<0.001) comparing to the 7 joints score. The 7 and 5 joints GS and PD scores showed a highly significant correlation with changes in DAS28 (P<0.001). In individual analysis, just 3 patients had US changes in feet. There were no differences between GS and PD. Time was shortening in 10 to 15 minutes.
Conclusions Dominant hand 5 joints may be a valid method for assessing joint inflammation in a quick and easily performed. Different scores could be necessary to develop in agreement with different studies.
Backhaus M, Ohrndorf S, Kellner H, Strunk J, Backhaus T.M, Hartung W, et al. Evaluation of a Novel 7-Joint Ultrasound Score in Daily Rheumatologic Practice: A Pilot Project. Arthritis Rheum. 2009;61:1194-201.
Mendonça JA,Bértolo MB. Joint Ultrasound: an important assessment toll for the diagnosis of early rheumatoid arthritis [Thesis]. Campinas: UNICAMP – State University of Campinas; 2011.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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