To evaluate the modified US7 score (MUS7 score SYN) in the assessment of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA). In addition, dorsal and palmar recesses of the wrists as well as of small joints of the hands and feet were examined for the presence of synovitis by means of a global assessment of joints.
The study sample comprised 32 patients treated for arthritis, with an average disease duration of 13 months. An ultrasound machine with high frequency transducer was used. Hands were also X-rayed and analysed by Larsen score.
Out of the 832 examined joints, synovitis was detected in 173 (20,79%), tenosynovitis in 22 (4,91%), and erosions in 3 (1,56%). Synovitis was predominantly detected in the dorsal recess (73,38%) of MCP and PIP joints, when compared with palmar recess (26%). The presence of synovitis in the joints evaluated correlated with clinical (HAQ-DI, DAS28), laboratory (ACPA, RF, CRP), and ultrasound results (r = 0,37 to r = 0,42; p = 0,04 to p = 0,003). We found correlation of the MUS7 score SYN of the gray scale US or of the power Doppler US with DAS28 (PCR) values (r = 0,38; p = 0,0332), and with CRP results (r = 0,39; p = 0,0280), respectively.
The dorsal recess, the wrist, and small joints can be considered as important sites to detect synovitis by the MUS7 score SYN in patients with ERA.
Ultrasound; Synovitis; Early Rheumatoid arthritis; Score