BACKGROUND: Recently preliminary ultrasonography (US) definitions, in B mode, for normal components of pediatric joints have been developed by the OMERACT US group. The aim of the current study was to include Doppler findings in the evaluation and definition of normal joint features that can be visualized in healthy children at different age groups.
METHODS: A multistep approach was used. Firstly, new additional definitions of joint components were proposed during an expert meeting. In the second step, these definitions, along with the preliminary B-mode-US definitions, were tested for feasibility in an exercise in healthy children at different age groups. In the last step, a larger panel of US experts were invited to join a web-based consensus process in order to approve the developed definitions using the Delphi methodology. A Likert scale of 1-5 was used to assess agreement.
RESULTS: Physiological vascularity and fat pad tissue were identified and tested as two additional joint components in healthy children. Since physiological vascularity changes over the time in the growing skeleton, the final definition of Doppler findings comprised separate statements instead of a single full definition. A total of seven statements was developed and included in a written Delphi questionnaire to define and validate the new components. The final definitions for fat pad and physiological vascularity agreed by the group of experts reached 92.9% and 100% agreement respectively in a web survey.
CONCLUSION: The inclusion of these two additional joints components which are linked to detection of Doppler signal in pediatric healthy joints will improve the identification of abnormalities in children with joint pathologies.
- Child, Preschool
- Delphi Technique
- Joints/diagnostic imaging
- Ultrasonography, Doppler/methods