Curr Health Sci J, vol. 41, no. 3, 2015

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis - Correlations with Disease Activity Score

[Original Paper]


(1)University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, PhD student,
(2)University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Pharmacology Department,
(3)University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, Rheumatology Department


Purpose: to assess synovial inflammation using musculoskeletal ultrasonography, in a cohort of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, and establish the correlations with disease activity score. Material and methods: We enrolled 29 patients diagnosed with early RA, according to ACR-EULAR 2010 classification criteria, in Rheumatology Clinic, Emergency County Hospital Craiova, between September 2013-August 2014. We performed clinical evaluation, assessed laboratory tests and performed US for all the patients. Musculoskeletal ultrasonography was performed using an ESAOTE MyLab 25 ultrasound, by the same examiner, with multi-frequency linear array transducers (7-12Mh). The presence of synovitis was assessed both in grey scale (GSUS) and power-Doppler (PDUS), according to OMERACT-EULAR consent. Results: Assessment of synovial inflammatory activity by ultrasound examination, using both grey scale and PDUS, has shown active synovitis in all patients, with a mean number of joints with active synovitis of 5. Evaluating the grade, using PDUS, we found grade 1 in all patients, 2 in 14 and grade 3 in 3 patients. Inflammatory markers correlated significant with both GSUS and PDUS. Analysis of correlation between GSUS examination parameters and disease activity score, found a positive, moderate inter-relation, results found also for PD score. Conclusion: our results sustain the role of US for detecting inflammatory activity in early RA patients, and, in addition with clinical and biological assessment, represents a sensitive, reliable and reproducible method, easily approached, that should be included in our routine evaluation

early rheumatoid arthritis, ultrasonography, disease activity score

Carmen Mitran, PhD student, University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova, 2 Petru Rares Street, 200349 Craiova, Romania; e-mail:

DOI 10.12865/CHSJ.41.03.04 - Download PDF