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Is it time to revisit the role of ultrasound in rheumatoid arthritis management?
  1. MA D'Agostino1,2,3,
  2. M Boers4,
  3. R J Wakefield3,
  4. P Emery3,
  5. P G Conaghan3
  1. 1Rheumatology Department, APHP, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
  2. 2INSERM U1173, Laboratoire d'Excellence INFLAMEX, UFR Simone Veil, Versailles-Saint-Quentin University, Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, France
  3. 3Leeds institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds & NIHR Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit, Leeds, UK
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Professor MA D'Agostino, Rheumatology Department, APHP, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, Boulogne-Billancourt 92100, France; maria-antonietta.dagostino{at}


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.

  • Ultrasonography
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Treatment

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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.