The changing role of ultrasonography examination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in light of recent studies
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Department of Radiology and Imaging Diagnostics, Dr Jan Biziel University Hospital No. 2 in Bydgoszcz, Poland
Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
Department of Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Diseases, Dr Jan Biziel University Hospital No. 2 in Bydgoszcz, Poland
Non-public Health Care Centre “Nasz Lekarz”, Toruń, Poland
Submission date: 2020-03-29
Final revision date: 2020-04-15
Acceptance date: 2020-06-02
Online publication date: 2020-06-29
Publication date: 2020-06-29
Reumatologia 2020;58(3):155–161
For many years, ultrasonography (US) has been a widely accepted modality used for joint assessment in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Given the efficacy of present day therapies, there is scepticism whether it is required in the first place. The most recent clinical Targeting synovitis in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (TaSER) and Clinical Tight Control Therapy (ARCTIC) trials’ results appear to contradict it, yet this does not necessarily mean ultrasound has no place in modern rheumatology. The possibility of detecting inflammation at a subclinical level carries a tremendous predictive value, enabling identification of patients likely to experience an exacerbation in the coming months. Therefore, US should be a part of the decision-making process regarding treatment modification or introduction of any additional interventions, such as glucocorticosteroid injections. The results of the most recent clinical trials do not negate the usefulness of US, but merely suggest that it ought to be used in moderation.
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