The evolution of time-intensity curves of contrast enhanced ultrasonography in early arthritis patients with wrist involvement.

Maria Magdalena Tamas, Cosmina Ioana Bondor, Nicolae Rednic, Linda Jessica Ghib, Simona Rednic


Aims: The aim of the study was to assess the evolution of time-intensity curves parameters of contrast-enhanced ultra- sonography (CEUS) after 6 months of conventional treatment in early arthritis patients with wrist involvement. Material and methods: Patients diagnosed with early rheumatoid arthritis or undifferentiated arthritis on the basis of 2010 ACR/EU- LAR classification criteria, with bilateral wrist arthritis and both radiocarpal (RC) and intercarpal (IC) synovial hypertrophy identified by grey-scale ultrasonography, were enrolled. Synovial hypertrophy was semi-quantitatively scored (grade 0-3) by grey-scale and by Power Doppler at wrist level. CEUS was performed using Sonovue. The region of interest was selected as the area corresponding to the synovial hypertrophy of the RC and IC joints. Time-intensity curves parameters were cal- culated with Contrast Dynamic Software. The minimum and the maximum values of Peak, area under the curve (AUC), and slope were selected for each patient at baseline and after 6 months of conventional treatment. The difference between the visits was noted as “Δ”. Results: Eleven patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Maximum time-intensity curves parameters’ difference significantly decreased at 6 months: Peak (30.00±5.90% vs 23.22±5.22%, p=0.008), AUC (1206.08±216.91%s vs 949.13±280.12%s, p=0.04) and slope (1.6 (1.4;2.3) %/s vs 1(0.7;1.2) %/s, p=0.03). Moderate correlations were found between maximum ΔPeak, maximum ΔAUC and maximum ΔPower Doppler grade (r=0.44, p=0.17; r=0.46, p=0.16, respec- tively). Conclusions: Peak and AUC for joints that had high baseline values significantly decreased following treatment with conventional synthetic drugs in EA patients with wrist arthritis. This decrease in Peak and AUC was moderately correlated with a decrease in US parameters. The joint with the highest values of these parameters may be used for evaluation of EA patients at follow-up.


early arthritis; time-intensity curves; ccontrast enhanced ultrasonography

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