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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2004 Nov-Dec;22(6):743-8.

Ultrasonography detection of early bone erosions in the metacarpophalangeal joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Author information

1
Ultrasonology Unit, Istituti Ortopedici Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare ultrasonography (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in their capability to detect bone erosions in early-advanced rheumatoid arthritis, where no erosion was evident on conventional radiography (X-ray).

METHODS:

Metacarpophalangeal (MCP), radiocarpal and ulnocarpal joints of 13 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, with bone erosion that was not detected by conventional X-ray, were examined by US and MRI. Ten controls underwent examination of the same joints by US.

RESULTS:

None of the controls showed bone erosions at US examination. No significant difference between US and MRI in detecting bone erosion was observed in wrist joints, whereas a significantly higher number of erosions was detected by US in MCP joints.

CONCLUSION:

US is at least as sensitive as MRI in detecting bone erosions in MCP and wrist joints. Since US examination is a more easily available and less expensive procedure than MRI, our findings justify its use as a diagnostic tool for early arthritis. In addition US may also be utilized in the follow up of patients with an established diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis.

PMID:
15638049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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