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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2008 Jan-Feb;26(1):1-4.

Ultrasound imaging for the rheumatologist. XIII. New trends. Three-dimensional ultrasonography.

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Cattedra di Reumatologia, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy.

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  • Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2008 Mar-Apr;26(2):388.


Despite its indubitable potential, ultrasonography still has limited diffusion in rheumatology related principally to the image acquisition process due to at least five main factors: the steep learning curve, lack of standardisation of the technique, intra- and inter-observer variability, time consumption and the high initial cost of top quality sonographic equipment. Of all these barriers, the first four are undoubtedly the most difficult to overcome. This review discusses the available evidence supporting the potential of three-dimensional ultrasound with high-frequency volumetric probe to overcome the first four barriers. The challenge to three-dimensional ultrasound is to prove itself to be a method that requires no particular skills that can be mastered in just a few minutes and is not operator-dependant [corrected].

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