Ultrasonography in the diagnosis and management of patients with inflammatory arthritides

Oscar Epis, Franco Paoletti, Tito D'Errico, Ennio Favalli, Pietro Garau, Luana Mancarella, Giovanni Pomponio, Gilda Sandri, Crescenzio Scioscia, Enrico Selvi, Enrico Tirri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In primary care and internal medicine settings clinicians are often reluctant to take advantage of the resources that ultrasonography (US) offers as a diagnostic tool in the initial management of patients with inflammatory arthritis, despite the recognised importance of an accurate and timely diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and of early referral to ensure optimal patient management. Both grey-scale (GS) and power Doppler (PD) imaging have been extensively used in early detection of synovitis and bone erosions in patients with inflammatory arthritides. We reviewed the main data on the clinical use of US in the initial management of patients with inflammatory arthritis, focusing on RA diagnosis in patients with undifferentiated arthritis, prediction of disease severity, differential diagnoses and assessment of synovitis in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The role of US in assessing treatment response and monitoring disease activity in clinical remission was also briefly evaluated. The reliability of US as a diagnostic tool in rheumatological diseases has greatly advanced in the last years and the use of this imaging technique, in association with conventional assessments such as physical examination and serological tests, should be considered more often also in primary care settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • Diagnosis
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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