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  • March 2009

    Ultrasound Changes Care of Some Patients with Rheumatic Conditions

    Society of Skeletal Radiology 2009 Annual Meeting | Harish S et al.


    Ultrasound of the Hands and Feet: Effect on Rheumatologists’ Diagnostic Confidence and Patient Management


    Harish S; Zia P; Matsos M; Ioannidis G; Ho Y; Chow A; Khalidi N


    Presented at the Society of Skeletal Radiology 2009 Annual Meeting, March 10, 2009


    The purpose of the study was to quantify the impact that ultrasound of the hands and feet have on rheumatologists’ diagnosis and diagnostic confidence and on patient management.

    The study included 62 patients. Results showed that, “approximately 50% of patients had a change in management following ultrasound evaluation,” said Srinivasan Harish, lead author of the study. “Certainty in clinical findings significantly increased following ultrasound, ranging from 24% to 56% for various findings,” he said.

    “Sonography appears to play a key role in helping rheumatologists determine whether or not disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) would be useful in patients who are difficult to assess clinically. Results from our study showed that there was a significant decrease in the use of these drugs when these patients had an ultrasound examination.

    “Rheumatologists typically request plain radiographs as their primary imaging modality for rheumatologic diseases. However our study shows that ultrasound may play a more influential role,” said Dr. Harish.

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