Ultrasound in rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by synovial inflammation. Musculoskeletal ultrasound is an imaging method that has entered in the clinical practice as a complementary tool to the clinical assessment of RA. It allows an improvement of the quality of diagnostic and treatment decisions.
In the last years musculoskeletal ultrasonography experienced technological developments with increased sensitivity in detecting a wide set of joint and soft tissues abnormalities. In RA, musculoskeletal ultrasonography with the use of Doppler modalities could be a useful imaging tool to depict inflammatory abnormalities (i.e. synovitis, tenosynovitis and bursitis) and structural changes (i.e. bone erosions, cartilage damage and tendon lesions). In addition, it has been presented to be able to monitor the response to different therapies in RA to guide local diagnostic and therapeutic procedures such as injections.
Currently, a unique scoring system optimal for follow-up the inflammatory status in RA patients is not available, but several researches are addressed. > From: Rizzo et al., Med Ultrason 15 (2013) 199-208. All rights reserved to the Medical Ultrasonography Journal.
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More information about the added value of musculoskeletal ultrasound in physiotherapy can be viewed in the videopresentations below: