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Role of ultrasound in assessment of early rheumatoid arthritis

Authors

  • MD Hyzy,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Medical Imaging, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
      Dr Marek D Hyzy, St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Vic. 3065, Australia. Email: marek_hyzy@hotmail.com
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      MD Hyzy MB BS, MBA
  • J Slavotinek,

    1. Division of Medical Imaging, Flinders Medical Centre
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      J Slavotinek BSc, MB BS, FRANZCR
  • MD Smith

    1. Rheumatology Research Unit, Repatriation General Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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      MD Smith MB BS, FRACP, PhD

  • MD Hyzy MB BS, MBA; J Slavotinek BSc, MB BS, FRANZCR; MD Smith MB BS, FRACP, PhD.

Dr Marek D Hyzy, St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Vic. 3065, Australia. Email: marek_hyzy@hotmail.com

Summary

This report reviews imaging methods used for diagnosis and monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis, with emphasis on the role of ultrasonography. Traditionally, conventional radiography has been useful in detecting and monitoring the extent of joint destruction in rheumatic disease. However, it is particularly difficult to detect pathological joint changes in the early stages. Magnetic resonance imaging is able to detect inflammation of the synovial membrane and erosions but is limited by cost and availability. Ultrasound has recently emerged as a useful and potentially reliable method for assessing the degree of joint inflammation and erosion in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis.

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