For over a decade, a large number of studies have highlighted the benefits of ultrasound (US) in the diagnosis and management of rheumatic diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, its benefits in routine practice have been less studied and trials examining US as part of various clinical strategies are just emerging, with recent randomised trials examining the added value of US in tight-control paradigms. The conclusions of these trials have raised questions on the role of US in RA management. This Viewpoint analyses the recent studies, and discusses potential limitations in study designs as well as the methodological challenges of assessing the added value of an imaging technique.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
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Handling editor Tore K Kvien
Contributors Conception and design: MADA, PGC. Analysis, drafting and final approval of the manuscript: MADA, MB, RJW, PE, PGC.
Funding RJW, PE and PGC are in part supported through the NIHR Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit. This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.