Significance of ultrasound examination for diagnostics of rheumatoid arthritis

Deimantė Pociūtė1

1Lithuanian university of health sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine



Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive, inflammatory disease of autoimmune origin. It causes inflammation of the joints, pain and swelling. To confirm the disease, it is necessary to evaluate synovial proliferation, cartilage thickness, tendon changes coused by inflammation and perarticular tissues.  Musculoskeletal echoscopy is often used for diagnosing this disease. This is a first-choice method for diagnosing RA, because it is easily accessible, harmless, relatively inexpensive, easy to transport and well tolerated by patients. This article presents literature analysis on the accuracy and reliability of musculoskeletal echoscopy in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. It is reported in the literature that ultrasonogram testing is sufficiently sensitive and specific in the diagnosis of synovitis and synovial hypervascularization. However, the sensitivity for bone erosion assessment was insufficient.


Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, synovitis, bone erosion, ultrasound, tenosinovite, doppler ultrasound.