Background By aging, many changes occur in the different components of the locomotor system, leading to a pathological situation such as osteoarthritis or remaining totally asymptomatic.
Objectives The aim of the current study was to compare,via ultrasound, the entheseal changes in two groups of people having different ages by calculating a modified Madrid sonography enthesitis index.
Methods The study was conducted in the rheumatology department of Mongi Slim hospital in Tunisia, between June 2015 and December 2016, including 17 healthy subjects. We indentified two groups: (G1) 9 persons aged >50 years [51–68] and (G2) 8 persons aged ≤50 years-old [37–50].
All the included persons underwent an enthesis ultrasound exploration (EsaoteMyLab 60 machine and a 13–18 MHz linear array transducer) by a rheumatogist experimented in ultrasound. Five enthesis locations bilaterally (distal Achilles tendon, distal andproximal patellar ligaments, distal quadriceps, and brachial triceps tendons) in each person were explored.The following elemental lesions of enthesis were evaluated: thickness, presence of calcifications, erosions,enthesophyte, loss of fibrillar patternand power Doppler signal.
The calculated index was compared by Mann-Whitney U test between cases and controls. The significance level was set at 5%.
Results In our study population, the median age was 51.8±2.3 years and the median body mass index was 30±1 kg/m2. This last was similar between the two groups. All included subjects were female.
The total enthesitis index was higher in G1 (6.67±0.91)than G2 (3.50±0.73) with a statistically significant difference (p=0.01).
Considering each evaluated enthesis, the distal patellar ligament score was significantly higher in the G1 (1.67±0.55 vs 0.25±0.16 with p=0.03). For the other enthesis, there was no significantly difference between the 2 groups.
Conclusions The distal patellar ligament enthesis changes shown in older persons may be the traduction of a silent-stage of knee osteoarthritis.
Disclosure of Interest None declared