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Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2019 Jan;71(1):39-45. doi: 10.1002/acr.23575.

Association of Knee Effusion Detected by Physical Examination With Bone Marrow Lesions: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses of a Population-Based Cohort.

Author information

1
Arthritis Research Canada, Richmond, and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
2
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
4
Arthritis Research Canada, Richmond, and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, and the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
5
Arthritis Research Canada, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the association of effusion detected by physical examination with the prevalence of bone marrow lesions (BMLs) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the incidence/progression of BMLs over 3 years in subjects with knee osteoarthritis.

METHODS:

A population-based cohort with knee pain (n = 255) was assessed for effusion on physical examination. On MRI, BMLs were graded 0-3 (none, mild, moderate, severe), and incidence/progression was defined as a worsening of the sum of BML scores over 6 surfaces by ≥1 grade. We analyzed the full cohort and a mild disease subsample with a Kellgren/Lawrence (K/L) grade <3. Cross-sectional logistic and longitudinal exponential regression analyses were performed, adjusted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and pain. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) for effusion detected by physical examination versus BMLs (prevalence and incidence/progression).

RESULTS:

The weighted mean age was 56.7 years, the mean BMI was 26.5, 56.3% were women, 20.1% had effusion on physical examination, and 80.7% had a K/L grade <3. Effusion on physical examination was significantly associated with prevalent BMLs in the full cohort (odds ratio [OR] 6.10 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.77-13.44]) and in the K/L grade <3 cohort (OR 6.88 [95% CI 2.76-17.15]). In the full cohort, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV were 34.6, 92.5, 79.9, and 62.1%, respectively, and in the K/L <3 cohort 31.7, 94.0, 75.5, and 70.1%, respectively. Longitudinally, effusion on physical examination was not significantly associated with BML incidence/progression in the full cohort (hazard ratio [HR] 1.83 [95% CI 0.95-3.52]) or in the K/L grade <3 cohort (HR 1.73 [95% CI 0.69-4.33]). In the two cohorts, sensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV were 32.0, 82.2, 42.2, and 74.9%, respectively, and 21.2, 85.6, 30.1, and 78.8% respectively.

CONCLUSION:

BMLs on MRI can be predicted from physical examination effusion cross-sectionally, with a high PPV of 79.9%. Assessment for knee effusion on physical examination is useful for determining potential candidates with BMLs before costly MRI screening for recruitment into clinical trials.

PMID:
29648685
DOI:
10.1002/acr.23575

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