Objectives To investigate the association of ultrasound (US) features—grey scale (GS) synovitis, synovial thickening, effusion and power Doppler signal (PDS)—with symptoms in hand osteoarthritis (HOA).
Methods Fifty-five consecutive patients (mean age 62 years, 87% women) with HOA, fulfilling the American College of Rheumatology criteria, were assessed for pain upon palpation and filled in Australian/Canadian Osteoarthritis Index (AUSCAN) scores, visual analogue scale pain and Short Form-36 (SF-36). US was performed in all metacarpophalangeal, proximal interphalangeal, distal interphalangeal, first interphalangeal and first carpometacarpal joints, and features were semiquantitatively scored (0–3). Generalised estimating equations were used to calculate OR (95% CI) for the association between US features and pain per joint adjusted for relevant confounders. The association between US features summated scores and self-reported outcomes was studied by linear regression analysis.
Results GS synovitis, effusion, synovial thickening and PDS were shown in 96%, 91%, 73% and 86% of patients, respectively. US features were dose-dependently associated with pain upon palpation (OR 4.5 (95% CI 2.2 to 9.0), 4.4 (2.0 to 9.4), 4.9 (2.2 to 11.0) and 4.1 (2.2 to 7.9)). GS synovitis was associated with AUSCAN pain, stiffness and SF-36, and effusion with AUSCAN pain.
Conclusions GS synovitis, effusion, synovial thickening and PDS are associated with pain in HOA, suggesting a role for inflammation. Further follow-up studies are warranted.
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