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J Rheumatol. 2018 Mar;45(3):329-334. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.161507. Epub 2018 Jan 15.

The Dorsal 4-finger Technique: A Novel Method to Examine Metacarpophalangeal Joints in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Author information

1
From the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, and Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging, Department of Medical Imaging, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2
M.A. Omair, MD, SF Rheum, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University; P. Akhavan, FRCPC, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; A. Naraghi, FRCPC, Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging, Department of Medical Imaging, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; S. Mittoo, FRCPC, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; J. Xiong, PhD, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; D. Weber, RN, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; D. Lin, PhD, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; M. Weber, RN, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; E.C. Keystone, FRCPC, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto. Dr. Omair and Dr. Akhavan are co-first authors.
3
From the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, and Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging, Department of Medical Imaging, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Ed.Keystone@sinaihealthsystem.ca.
4
M.A. Omair, MD, SF Rheum, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud University; P. Akhavan, FRCPC, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; A. Naraghi, FRCPC, Division of Musculoskeletal Imaging, Department of Medical Imaging, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; S. Mittoo, FRCPC, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; J. Xiong, PhD, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; D. Weber, RN, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; D. Lin, PhD, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; M. Weber, RN, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto; E.C. Keystone, FRCPC, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto. Dr. Omair and Dr. Akhavan are co-first authors. Ed.Keystone@sinaihealthsystem.ca.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the dorsal 4-finger technique (DFFT) in examining metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and compare it to the traditional 2-finger technique (TFT) using ultrasound (US) as a gold standard.

METHODS:

Four rheumatologists evaluated 180 MCP joints of 18 patients with RA. All patients underwent US for greyscale (GSUS) and power Doppler US (PDUS). Agreements between rheumatologists, the 2 techniques, and US were evaluated using Cohen κ and the first-order agreement coefficient (AC1) κ methods.

RESULTS:

The population comprised 17 females (94.4%) with a mean (SD) age and disease duration of 56.8 (14.4) and 21.8 (12.9) years, respectively. Eight patients (44.4%) were taking methotrexate monotherapy, while 10 patients (55.6%) were receiving biologics. US evaluation revealed 69 (38.3%) and 30 (16.7%) joints exhibited synovitis grade 2-3 by GSUS and PDUS, respectively. Effusion was documented in 30 joints (16.7%). The mean intraobserver agreement using the DFFT and TFT were 80.5% and 86%, respectively. The mean interobserver agreements using the DFFT and TFT were 84% and 74%, respectively. κ agreement with US findings was similar for both techniques in tender joints but was higher for the DFFT in nontender joints (0.33 vs 0.07, p = 0.015 for GSUS) and (0.48 vs 0.11, p = 0.002 for PDUS). The DFFT had a higher sensitivity in detecting ballottement by GSUS (0.47 vs 0.2, p < 0.001) and PDUS (0.60 vs 0.27, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

The DFFT is a novel, reproducible, and reliable method to examine MCP joints, and it has a better correlation with US than the traditional TFT.

KEYWORDS:

METACARPOPHALANGEAL JOINTS; MUSCULOSKELETAL EXAMINATION; RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS; ULTRASOUND

PMID:
29335348
DOI:
10.3899/jrheum.161507
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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