A recent review presents an analysis of the diagnostic value of the well-established, non-invasive and relatively inexpensive imaging modality of diagnostic ultrasonography to compare different types of arthritic conditions. (H Sikha Roy et al. Comparison Between Major Types of Arthritis Based on Diagnostic Ultrasonography. Open Medical Imaging Journal 2019; 11L 1. Doi 10.2174/1874347101911010001) The seven major arthritic conditions included in the study are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, pseudogout (calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease), psoriatic arthritis, infectious arthritis and spondyloarthritis.
In the review, researchers at the SouthWest Medical University in China carried out a computerized literature search in Pubmed and identified a list of 206 publications related to arthritis. Out of this list, a total of 52 studies met the search criteria for involving diagnostic ultrasonography.
The researchers found that ultrasound was effective in delineating characteristic features in each of the above mentioned seven major types of arthritis. When carried out by a trained sonographer and combined with a good patient’s history and physical examination, ultrasound proved to be a convenient, feasible, economic and accurate imaging modality in the evaluation and monitoring of dis-ease process and progression in each type of arthritis. Some of the features overlapped while some were specific to one type of arthritis.
Although MRI has been considered as the main modality for the evaluation of musculoskeletal (MS) pathology, high resolution ultrasound with colour doppler imaging is suggested as the imaging method of choice for the assessment of superficial MS lesions.