Table 2

Search strategy

Research questionSources and keywordsNo of hitsRelevant articles
Is it possible to estimate the incidence and prevalence of acute swelling of the knee in the general population?PubMed: “knee AND (prevalence OR frequency)” + related articles and references in relevant articles606620 (4 in congress abstracts)
Is it possible to estimate the distribution of underlying causes in the general population?Abstracts of EULAR and ACR congresses: (“knee” in title)
Should the recognition of swelling of the knee be based on patient report only, on physical examination or on additional tests? Which questions should a front-line doctor ask to a patient presenting with acute or recent onset swelling of the knee? What physical examination should be performed?PubMed: “history taking, medical AND knee” + each test independently + related articles and references of relevant articles899 (1 in congress abstracts)
Abstracts of EULAR and ACR congresses: (“knee” in title)
Under which circumstances is a delay in referral acceptable, and under which circumstances should a patient be referred immediately?PubMed: “knee AND (effusion OR swell* OR swoll*) AND (aetiology OR cause OR etiology)” + related articles and references of relevant articles10515 (2 in congress abstracts)
By whom and to whom should a patient with acute or recent onset swelling of the knee be referred for further evaluation?Abstracts of EULAR and ACR congresses: (“knee” in title)
Which additional tests should be performed?PubMed: “magnetic resonance imaging AND knee” “(ultrasonography or doppler ultrasonography, doppler) AND knee” + related articles and references of relevant articles506014
Abstracts of EULAR and ACR congresses: (“knee” in title)
  • ACR, American College of Rheumatology; EULAR, European League Against Rheumatism.