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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-39

A longitudinal study of the 28 joints of disease activity score by ultrasonographical examination in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Sohag Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hanan Sayed M. Abozaid
Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Sohag Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Postal Code: 82524 Sohag
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JMU.JMU_74_18

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Background: The damaging effect of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) on cartilage, bone, ligaments, and tendons has raised the importance of the disease activity and severity assessment to enable therapeutic decisions and to evaluate disease outcome. Aim: The aim is to compare the clinical examination of the Disease Activity Score (DAS)-28 with the musculoskeletal ultrasonography (US) examination in RA patients. Moreover, finding if we can use ultrasonographical results as a tool for predicting subsequent radiological damage. Patients and Methods: It is a longitudinal study included 60 adult RA patients. Patients were under assessment at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months from the recruitment time. Twenty-eight joints of DAS were assessed for tenderness and swelling. US gray scale (GS) and US power Doppler (PD) score also was done at each visit. Results: DAS-28, with its parameters, is positively and highly significantly correlated to synovitis severity both by US GS and US-PD score along the study follow-up visits. There was highly significant difference between the number of 28 swollen and tender joints by clinical examination with both US GS and US-PD. Linear regression analysis to predict the number of swollen and tender joints after 12 months showed significance between US PD with swollen and tender joints' numbers. The correlation was positive and significant between Larsen score at 12 months with GS US and PD US assessment, but linear regression analysis was only significant for Larsen score with only GS US. Conclusion: GS US and PD is a sensitive and reliable noninvasive method complementary to standard clinical assessment and could be a tool for predicting subsequent joints' damage.

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