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Joint Bone Spine. 2012 Dec;79(6):586-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2012.02.007. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

Can we improve the diagnosis of spondyloarthritis in patients with uncertain diagnosis? The EchoSpA prospective multicenter French cohort.

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  • 1Service de rhumatologie, hôpital Ambroise-Paré, Boulogne-Billancourt, France. maria-antonietta.dagostino@apr.aphp.fr

Abstract

Power Doppler ultrasound (PDUS) has proved to be a highly sensitive tool for assessing enthesitis in spondyloarthritis (SpA). In patients with a suspected SpA, diagnosis could be improved by detecting enthesitis with PDUS.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the performance of PDUS for the diagnosis of SpA alone or combined with other clinical, laboratory and imaging findings in patients consulting for a suspected SpA.

METHODS:

Prospective, multicenter French cohort study (Boulogne-Billancourt, Brest, Caen, Grenoble, Marseille and Nancy). Outpatients consulting for symptoms suggestive of SpA (inflammatory back pain [IBP], arthritis or inflammatory arthralgia [IA], enthesitis or dactylitis [ED], HLA-B27 positive uveitis [B27+U], familiarity for SpA [Fam]) were recruited and followed up for at least 2 years. Sample size was set to 500 patients (for estimated prevalence of SpA of 30±5% after 2 years). At baseline, patients were submitted to standardized physical examination, pelvic X-ray, sacroiliac joints magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), HLA-B typing, and other tests judged useful for diagnosis. For each patient, a blinded PDUS examination of 14 enthesitic sites was performed at baseline and at years 1 and 2. Patients were planned to be followed during 5 years. The diagnosis of SpA ascertained by an experts' committee, blind to PDUS results, after at least 2 years of follow-up, with a revaluation of doubtful patients at 5 years will be used as gold standard for evaluating the diagnostic performance of PDUS and the best diagnostic procedure by combining PDUS, clinical symptoms and other tests.

RESULTS:

Between January 2005 and September 2007, 489 patients were included (96% of the target population). Nineteen patients (0.2%) retired their informed consensus or were lost to follow-up immediately after their inclusion. At baseline, mean age of the 470 remaining patients was 40 years, mean duration of symptoms was 6.1 years; 42% of them were HLA-B27+ and 63% were female. Primary inclusion criterion was IBP in 53%, IA in 27%, ED in 9%, B27+U in 8% and Fam in 4%. Follow-up is still ongoing.

CONCLUSION:

We have set up a unique diagnostic cohort which includes the entire spectrum of SpA manifestations. By using PDUS we expected to improve the diagnostic procedure of SpA.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier SAS.

PMID:
22459413
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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