Ultrasound-defined tenosynovitis identified as strong predictor of early RA

June 10, 2015, European League Against Rheumatism

The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) Press Conference showed that ultrasound diagnosis of tenosynovitis (inflammation of the tendon sheath) was superior to clinical symptoms and signs in the prediction of early Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). This is the first study to show that ultrasound-defined tenosynovitis is a strong predictor of early RA. By identifying the need for treatment before the onset of symptoms and signs, this procedure has the potential to improve clinical outcomes.

"There is a wealth of evidence that the clinical signs and symptoms of RA may be preceded by a preclinical phase lasting several years, and this preclinical phase is likely to represent an important therapeutic window within which can be dramatically improved, " explained Dr. Andrew Filer of the Rheumatology Research Group, University of Birmingham, UK. "We therefore set out to explore the ability of -defined tenosynovitis to predict very early RA during the earliest undifferentiated phase of disease," Dr. Filer said.

Results showed that ultrasound diagnosis of tenosynovitis was superior to clinical symptoms and signs, such as early morning stiffness, symmetrical arthritis and hand joint arthritis in predicting early RA. Specifically scanning of the hand flexor tendons and Extensor Carpi Ulnaris tendons provided the optimal minimal ultrasound data to predict early RA.

The EULAR Study Group for Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) had previously recommended the need to identify new biomarkers for the prediction of RA in early undifferentiated disease.

107 patients with clinically apparent synovitis involving at least one joint, and symptom duration of three months or less, underwent clinical and multiple tendon ultrasound assessments. Outcomes were determined after 18 months using 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria.

A blinded ultrasound assessment was carried out on each patient to determine the presence of tenosynovitis at 16 tendon regions: bilateral fingers (extensor and flexor compartments), wrists (extensor and flexor compartments), shoulders (biceps tendon), and ankles (anterior extensors, peroneals, and posterior tibialis). The definition of tenosynovitis using grey scale and Power Doppler readings was based on the OMERACT Ultrasound Task Force recommendations.4

Explore further: Patients with moderate RA as likely to need joint surgery as those with high disease

Related Stories

Patients with moderate RA as likely to need joint surgery as those with high disease

June 10, 2015
The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2015) Press Conference showed that patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) taking conventional DMARD therapy who have ...

Ultrasound findings can improve classification of RA

May 15, 2013
(HealthDay)—Compared to clinical diagnosis of synovitis, ultrasound-detected synovitis provides either improved sensitivity or specificity when used with the American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism ...

Novel biomarkers improve diagnosis in rheumatoid arthritis

June 14, 2013
Data presented at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, show that novel antibody biomarkers could significantly improve diagnosis in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

First blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be available

March 20, 2015
The first blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be developed, thanks to research by the University of Warwick.

RA-related issues impede smoking cessation

June 2, 2015
(HealthDay)—Issues related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), such as distraction from pain and frustration of living with RA, may impede smoking cessation in RA patients, according to a study published in the May issue of Arthritis ...

Rheumatoid arthritis patients' BMI linked to ability to stay in remission

November 17, 2014
A study by Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) researchers finds that body mass index (BMI) plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients' ability to achieve a sustained remission. Looking at patients who had received ...

Recommended for you

Dietary carbohydrates could lead to osteoarthritis, new study finds

August 9, 2018
Do your knees ache? According to new findings from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, your diet could be a culprit.

Joint study raises questions about treatments for arthritis

August 3, 2018
A study examining how molecules are transported into knee-joint tissue could have major implications for understanding and treating arthritis.

Researchers identify new arthritis severity gene

July 26, 2018
A new gene associated with disease severity in models of rheumatoid arthritis has been identified by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The discovery could provide a new pathway for treatment and ...

How the brain plays a role in rheumatoid arthritis inflammation

June 18, 2018
In patients with chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, there has been limited understanding of how this inflammation affects the brain.

New 3-D imaging analysis technique could lead to improved arthritis treatment

June 18, 2018
An algorithm to monitor the joints of patients with arthritis, which could change the way that the severity of the condition is assessed, has been developed by a team of engineers, physicians and radiologists led by the University ...

Joint resolution: A link between Huntington's disease and rheumatoid arthritis

May 15, 2018
Using new analytic tools, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have decoded the epigenetic landscape for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a common ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.